Meaning of STRENGTH in English


strength S2 W2 /streŋθ, strenθ/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ strengthen ; noun : ↑ strength ; adverb : ↑ strongly ; adjective : ↑ strong ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: strengthu ]

1 . PHYSICAL [uncountable] the physical power and energy that makes someone strong OPP weakness

have/find the strength to do something

She didn’t even have the strength to stand up.

I’m trying to build up my strength.

Jo hit him with all her strength.

He never ceased to be amazed by her physical strength.

2 . DETERMINATION [uncountable] the quality of being brave or determined in dealing with difficult or unpleasant situations

have/find the strength to do something

Jenny didn’t have the strength to end the relationship.

She had enormous strength of character (=strong ability to deal with difficult situations) .

strength of mind/purpose

The sea was very cold and it required great strength of mind to get in.

I think you have to find an inner strength in order to feel good about yourself.

⇨ tower of strength at ↑ tower 1 (3)

3 . FEELING/BELIEF [uncountable] how strong a feeling, belief, or relationship is SYN depth

strength of

Governments cannot ignore the strength of public opinion.

We understand the strength of feeling against the proposal.

4 . ORGANIZATION/COUNTRY ETC [uncountable] the political, military, or economic power of an organization, country, or system

strength of

the strength of the US economy

The socialists organized a show of strength (=when a country or organization shows how strong it is) .

5 . USEFUL QUALITY OR ABILITY [countable] a particular quality or ability that gives someone or something an advantage OPP weakness :

Her main strength is her critical thinking ability.

strength of

The great strength of our plan lies in its simplicity.

Be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses.

6 . OBJECT [uncountable] how strong an object or structure is, especially its ability to last for a long time without breaking OPP weakness

strength of

a device for testing the strength of concrete structures

7 . SUBSTANCE/MIXTURE [uncountable and countable] how strong a substance or mixture is:

Add water to dilute the solution to the required strength.

full-strength/half-strength/double-strength etc

Young plants can be fed with half-strength liquid fertilizer.

8 . NUMBER OF PEOPLE [uncountable] the number of people in a team, army etc:

The Edinburgh team are now at full strength.

below strength

The police force is below strength at the moment (=there are fewer police than there should be) .

in strength

Security forces were out in strength (=in large numbers) but did not intervene.

9 . MONEY [uncountable] the value of a country’s money when compared to other countries’ money

strength of

the strength of the dollar on the international money markets

10 . on the strength of something because of something:

I bought the book on the strength of your recommendation.

11 . position of strength a position where you have an advantage over someone, especially in a discussion:

We must negotiate from a position of strength.

12 . go from strength to strength to become more and more successful:

For several years, the business went from strength to strength.

13 . NATURAL FORCE [uncountable] how strong a natural force is:

the strength of the sunlight

14 . COLOUR/LIGHT/FLAVOUR/SMELL ETC [uncountable] how strong a colour, taste etc is

15 . give me strength spoken used when you are annoyed or angry about something

16 . not know your own strength to not realize how strong you are

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)

■ adjectives

▪ physical strength

Some of the tasks required considerable physical strength.

▪ great/enormous strength

Hercules was famous for his great strength.

▪ superhuman strength (=much greater than ordinary strength)

In the movie, Walsh performs feats of superhuman strength.

▪ superior strength (=greater than someone else's)

Using his superior strength, Rocky dragged the struggling Larsen another twenty yards back.

▪ brute strength (=physical strength rather than intelligence or careful thinking)

There is more to wrestling than brute strength. Tactics are important too.

▪ full strength

It takes time to get your full strength back after you have been ill.

■ verbs

▪ have the strength to do something

He didn't even have the strength to sit up.

▪ find the strength to do something

Mary found the strength to climb up onto the upturned boat.

▪ use your strength

He used all his strength to heave the door shut.

▪ gather/muster/summon your strength (=get enough strength to do something)

He sat for a couple of minutes, gathering his strength.

▪ build up your strength (=make yourself stronger)

You need to build up your strength.

▪ gain strength

After the operation, he spent several weeks relaxing and gaining strength.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ adjectives

▪ great strength

She showed great strength in dealing with her problems.

▪ inner strength

Geoff had an inner strength which got him through the tough times.

▪ mental strength

He's a player who has the skill and the mental strength to win.

■ verbs

▪ have the strength to do something

This proved that he has the strength to cope with such a high-powered job.

▪ find the strength to do something

Paula had found the strength to escape from an abusive marriage.

▪ gain/draw strength from somebody/something

He gained strength from being back with the people and things he loved.

▪ show strength

The decision to continue shows incredible strength and courage.

■ phrases

▪ strength of character (=strong ability to deal with difficult situations)

The victims' families have shown amazing strength of character.

▪ strength of purpose/mind (=determination to do something)

In pursuing this ambition, William showed remarkable strength of purpose.

▪ a source of strength (=person or thing that makes you brave or determined)

Her faith had always been a source of strength for her.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 5)

■ adjectives

▪ a great strength

Diversity is one of India's greatest strengths.

▪ a real strength

The play's real strength is the way it explores relationships.

■ verbs

▪ build on/capitalize on a strength (=use it as a basis for further achievement)

The organization must move forward and capitalize on its strengths.

▪ play to your strengths (=use people's qualities and abilities in the best way in order to achieve something)

Both parties are playing to their strengths.

▪ identify strengths

The teacher can identify each child's strengths and build on these.

▪ know somebody's strengths

It's important to know your strengths as well as your weaknesses.

▪ somebody's/something's strength lies in something

The show's strength lies in the fact that it appeals to all ages.

■ phrases

▪ strengths and weaknesses

All technologies have different strengths and weaknesses.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.