From Middle English strengthe, from Old English strengþu (“strength”), from Proto-West Germanic *strangiþu (“strongness; strength”), equivalent to strong + -th. Cognate with Dutch strengte (“strength”), German Low German Strengde, Strengte (“harshness; rigidity; strictness; severity”).
- (Received Pronunciation, General American) IPA(key): /stɹɛŋkθ/, [st̠͡ɹ̠ɛŋkθ], [st̠͡ɹ̠ɛn̪θ], [st̠͡ɹ̠æŋkθ], [ˈʃt͡ʃɹeɪŋkθ]
- (pin–pen merger) IPA(key): [st̠͡ɹ̠ɪŋkθ]
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛŋθ, -ɛnθ
strength (countable and uncountable, plural strengths)
- The quality or degree of being strong.
- Antonym: weakness
- It requires great strength to lift heavy objects.
- c. 1606 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene v]:
- 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter V, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
- 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.
- The intensity of a force or power; potency.
- He had the strength of ten men.
- 1699, William Temple, Heads designed for an essay on conversations
- Study gives strength to the mind; conversation, grace: the first apt to give stiffness, the other suppleness: one gives substance and form to the statue, the other polishes it.
- The strongest part of something; that on which confidence or reliance is based.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Psalms 46:1:
- God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
- 1649, Jeremy Taylor, The Great Examplar of Sanctity and Holy Life according to the Christian Institution, London: Francis Ash, Part 1, Section 4, Discourse 2, p. 66,
- […] certainly there is not in the world a greater strength against temptations, then is deposited in an obedient understanding […] .
- A positive attribute.
- Antonym: weakness
- We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.
- (obsolete) An armed force, a body of troops.
- 1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene iii]:
- Thou princely leader of our English strength,
Never so needful on the earth of France,
- c. 1596, William Shakespeare, “The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene i]:
- That done, dissever your united strengths,
And part your mingled colours once again;
- (obsolete) A strong place; a stronghold.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book VII”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, →OCLC, lines 140-143:
- All like himself rebellious, by whose aid
This inaccessible high strength, the seat
Of Deitie supream, us dispossest,
He trusted to have seis’d […]
- bond strength
- compressive strength
- crushing strength
- dielectic strength
- fatigue strength
- field strength
- impact strength
- inner strength
- ionic strength
- party strength
- pillar of strength
- relative strength
- shear strength
- signal strength
- tensile strength
- tower of strength
- ultimate strength
- wet strength
- yield strength
strength — see potency
quality of being strong
intensity of a force or power
strongest part of something
strength (third-person singular simple present strengths, present participle strengthing, simple past and past participle strengthed)
- (obsolete) To strengthen (all senses). [12th–17th c.]
- 1526, [William Tyndale, transl.], The Newe Testamẽt […] (Tyndale Bible), [Worms, Germany: Peter Schöffer], →OCLC, Colossians j:, folio cclviiii, verso:
- ſtrengthed with all myght / thꝛowe hys gloꝛious power / vnto all pacience / and longe ſufferynge with ioyfulnes
- 1529, John Frith, A piſtle to the Chriſten reader […] :
- Then ſhalt thow perceave what it meaneth that the power of this wretched monſtre / muſt be ſtrengthed / by anothers power and not by his awne.
- 1550, Edward Halle, “King Henry the viij.”, in The Vnion of the Two Noble and Illuſtre Famelies of Lancaſtre and Yoꝛke, page 1271:
- In witnes wherof we haue cauſed this pꝛeſent wꝛiting to be ſtrengthed with the ſeal of our facultie […]
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:strengthen