Definition of strengthen in US English:

strengthen

verb

  • 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’
    • ‘But you see that the wind has strengthened and the branch of a tree has touched the glass.’
    • ‘It reinforces and strengthens the power and influence of those who are fluent in the hegemonic language.’
    • ‘The wind strengthened further, but several pulls suggested a fish would soon be landed.’
    • ‘It spreads and strengthens and multiplies until it smothers anything trying to stifle it.’
    • ‘The wanton destructiveness of modern warfare strengthens this obligation.’
    • ‘On the contrary most people are told daily that fluoride prevents tooth decay and strengthens the bones.’
    • ‘This may be our seventh win of the year, but it only strengthens our resolve to win more.’
    • ‘Positive reinforcement is the delivery of a stimulus that strengthens the behavior.’
    • ‘If increasing the number of stores strengthens the company then he will continue to open more, he says.’
    • ‘At the end of the day, this strengthens its spirit, and this strength allows it to overcome its difficulties.’
    • ‘The game, however, was played in constant rain and wind that strengthened as the match progressed.’
    • ‘It strengthens the legal framework governing community rights to timber and other forest products.’
    • ‘Middlesbrough have made some fine investments and strengthened an already strong squad.’
    • ‘It is strengthened by being reinforced by multiple people who accept its reality.’
    • ‘If voting strengthens the legitimacy of the regime this time, it had done the exact same thing four and eight years ago.’
    • ‘It strengthens muscles and increases endurance, which is very important during labour.’
    • ‘But, fair enough, there is a strong case for strengthening the links in a more systematic way.’
    • ‘Why have we not returned there in order to feel stronger and to further strengthen the land that strengthens us?’
    • ‘Tackle dog attacks and illegal breeding by increasing penalties and strengthening enforcement.’
    • ‘Nicotine is the substance that reinforces and strengthens the desire to smoke.’
    make strong, make stronger, build up, give strength to, make healthy, nourish
    reinforce, make stronger, buttress, brace, shore up, underpin
    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
    step up, increase, heighten, escalate, scale up
    reinforce, make more forceful, lend more weight to
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • strengthen someone's hand (or hands)

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

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the short run the coup had the effect of strengthening his hand.’
      • ‘But it wasn't just luck that was strengthening City 's hand.’
      • ‘The float also strengthens its hand and will bring capital into the business that will be used to reduce debt.’
      • ‘That strengthens Pakistan's hand in its dealings with India.’
      • ‘Although they have already succeeded beyond our worst nightmares, we must beware that we don't unwittingly strengthen their hand.’
      • ‘This certainly has strengthened Putin's hand especially in foreign affairs.’
      • ‘But strengthening our hand by withdrawing our troops is one of those gambits that is too clever by half.’
      • ‘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.’

Pronunciation

strengthen

/ˈstreNG(k)THən//ˈstrɛŋ(k)θən/