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From Middle English strengthe, from Old English strengþu ‎(strength), from Proto-Germanic *strangiþō ‎(strongness; strength), equivalent to strong +‎ -th. Cognate with Dutch strengte ‎(strength), German Low German Strengde, Strengte ‎(harshness; rigidity; strictness; severity). Written strenght in the 1534 Tyndale English translation of the Bible.



strength ‎(plural strengths)

  1. The quality or degree of being strong.
    It requires great strength to lift heavy objects.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      Our castle's strength will laugh a siege to scorn.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 5, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      He was thinking; but the glory of the song, the swell from the great organ, the clustered lights, […], the height and vastness of this noble fane, its antiquity and its strength—all these things seemed to have their part as causes of the thrilling emotion that accompanied his thoughts.
  2. The intensity of a force or power; potency.
    He had the strength of ten men.
  3. The strongest part of something; that on which confidence or reliance is based.
    • Bible, Psalms xlvi. 1
      God is our refuge and strength.
    • Jeremy Taylor (1613–1677)
      Certainly there is not a greater strength against temptation.
  4. A positive attribute.
    We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.
  5. (obsolete) A strong place; a stronghold.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)



Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



strength ‎(third-person singular simple present strengths, present participle strengthing, simple past and past participle strengthed)

  1. (obsolete) To give strength to; to strengthen. [12th-17th c.]
    • 1395, John Wycliffe, Bible, Job IV:
      Lo! thou hast tauȝt ful many men, and thou hast strengthid hondis maad feynt.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)


Most common English words before 1923: hardly · wind · drew · #595: strength · opinion · according · walked
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