Definition of strengthen in English:



  • Make or become stronger.

    [with object] ‘he advises an application of fluoride to strengthen the teeth’
    [no object] ‘the wind won't strengthen until after dark’
    • ‘The wanton destructiveness of modern warfare strengthens this obligation.’
    • ‘If increasing the number of stores strengthens the company then he will continue to open more, he says.’
    • ‘It is strengthened by being reinforced by multiple people who accept its reality.’
    • ‘But, fair enough, there is a strong case for strengthening the links in a more systematic way.’
    • ‘But you see that the wind has strengthened and the branch of a tree has touched the glass.’
    • ‘This may be our seventh win of the year, but it only strengthens our resolve to win more.’
    • ‘Tackle dog attacks and illegal breeding by increasing penalties and strengthening enforcement.’
    • ‘Nicotine is the substance that reinforces and strengthens the desire to smoke.’
    • ‘It reinforces and strengthens the power and influence of those who are fluent in the hegemonic language.’
    • ‘It strengthens muscles and increases endurance, which is very important during labour.’
    • ‘If voting strengthens the legitimacy of the regime this time, it had done the exact same thing four and eight years ago.’
    • ‘Middlesbrough have made some fine investments and strengthened an already strong squad.’
    • ‘The game, however, was played in constant rain and wind that strengthened as the match progressed.’
    • ‘At the end of the day, this strengthens its spirit, and this strength allows it to overcome its difficulties.’
    • ‘Why have we not returned there in order to feel stronger and to further strengthen the land that strengthens us?’
    • ‘On the contrary most people are told daily that fluoride prevents tooth decay and strengthens the bones.’
    • ‘It spreads and strengthens and multiplies until it smothers anything trying to stifle it.’
    • ‘The wind strengthened further, but several pulls suggested a fish would soon be landed.’
    • ‘It strengthens the legal framework governing community rights to timber and other forest products.’
    • ‘Positive reinforcement is the delivery of a stimulus that strengthens the behavior.’
    toughen, temper, anneal
    become strong, become stronger, gain strength, intensify, pick up, heighten
    fortify, bolster, make stronger, give strength to, give a boost to, boost, reinforce, harden, stiffen, toughen, steel, cement
    make strong, make stronger, build up, give strength to, make healthy, nourish
    reinforce, make stronger, buttress, brace, shore up, underpin
    step up, increase, heighten, escalate, scale up
    reinforce, make more forceful, lend more weight to
    View synonyms


  • strengthen someone's hand (or hands)

    • Enable or encourage a person to act more vigorously or effectively.

      ‘the military aid will only strengthen the hand of the army’
      • ‘Let us strengthen their hands in resolving such matters without endangering their seats.’
      • ‘It certainly strengthens his hand as he approaches these crucial league games and he is taking them very seriously.’
      • ‘That strengthens Pakistan's hand in its dealings with India.’
      • ‘In the short run the coup had the effect of strengthening his hand.’
      • ‘Although they have already succeeded beyond our worst nightmares, we must beware that we don't unwittingly strengthen their hand.’
      • ‘The float also strengthens its hand and will bring capital into the business that will be used to reduce debt.’
      • ‘This certainly has strengthened Putin's hand especially in foreign affairs.’
      • ‘But it wasn't just luck that was strengthening City 's hand.’
      • ‘But strengthening our hand by withdrawing our troops is one of those gambits that is too clever by half.’
      • ‘I think Chuck is right about this strong vote in the Senate and the House sending a clear signal to the world and strengthening our hand at the U.N. That's important.’