strong


strong
strong, stout, sturdy, stalwart, tough, tenacious can all mean having or manifesting great power or force (as in acting or resisting).
Strong, the most inclusive of these terms, fundamentally implies the possession of great physical power and may connote such varied causes as sound health or physical size and vigor or soundness of construction and substance
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a strong constitution

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the hammock is not strong enough to bear the weight of two persons

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a strong foundation

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his hands were large. They looked neither strong nor competent— Salinger

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but in extended use it may apply to groups whose force is dependent upon numbers, organization, or discipline
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a strong army

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a strong majority forced a wavering minority along the road of rectitude— Repplier

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or to a spiritual or mental power or faculty that acts with force and vigor
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a strong mind

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a strong will

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a strong critical instinct

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or to some very potent or powerful thing
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strong liquor

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a strong poison

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a strong current

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a strong battery

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the memorandum was couched in strong language and the Russians replied to it. . . with equally stern words— Shirer

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or to something (as color or light or emotion or sentiment) that is particularly intense or violent
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a strong purple

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the strong light of the setting sun

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strong love

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a strong attachment

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the impulse to fight is something so strong, so deep-seated, so uncontrollable by . . . reason— Edmund Wilson

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Stout (see also FLESHY) carries a stronger implication than does strong of an ability to resist aggression or destructive forces or of an ability to endure hard use, severe pain, or great temptation without giving way. When applied to persons, it often suggests resolution, doggedness, or fearlessness
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a stouter champion never handled sword— Shak.

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and let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail ... to impart our courage unto our sons— Roosevelt

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When applied to things, stout usually also suggests solid, substantial construction
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a stout cane

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a stout ship

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or a texture that resists stress or strain
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stout canvas

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a stout paper

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their feet were protected by stout boots— Mason

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In fact the term is generally applicable when the suggestion of power to resist or endure is more emphatic than that of a power to do or to effect.
Sturdy implies qualities in inanimate as well as in animate things that suggest the possession of rugged health; the term carries no suggestion of powers derived from such qualities as size, intensity, or vehemence but connotes rather an inner strength typically derived from healthy vigorous growth, close solid construction, or a determined spirit that gives it staying power and stoutness
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the little fellow has sturdy legs

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was a sturdy, handsome, high-colored woman— Van Doren

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it is the sturdiest of creepers, facing the ferocious winds of the hills, the tremendous rains that blow up from the sea, and bitter frost— Jefferies

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our people are . . . conspicuous for a sturdy independence— Inge

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Stalwart usually implies strength derived from what is so deeply established or firmly rooted that it is unassailable or impregnable or is completely dependable
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William Law . . . was a stalwart Churchman, and showed no sympathy with the sectaries— Inge

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Dryden brings his stalwart common sense to bear upon the problem, and clarifies the issue— Lowes

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what is best in our society will have to be saved by the advocates of some older and iñore stalwart system of thought— Kirk

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When applied to persons with reference to their physique or prowess, stalwart regularly suggests great strength, but it often throws the emphasis upon heroic build or largeness of frame
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a stalwart man, limbed like the old heroic breeds— J. R. Lowell

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Tough suggests the strength that comes from a texture or a spirit that is firm and unyielding and effectively resists attempts to pierce, destroy, or overcome; it stresses hardiness rather than vigor, resistant elasticity or wiriness rather than hardness or solidity, or a capacity for yielding that is just sufficient to increase rather than to destroy a person's or thing's strength or stoutness
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a tough membrane

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a tough opponent

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tough resistance

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any type who reached the age of six . . . was a pint of iron man, so tough, so ferocious, so sharp in the teeth that the wildest alley cat would have surrendered a freshly caught rat rather than contest the meal— Mailer

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physically fragile, she was spiritually tough—SackvilleWest

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Tenacious comes very close to tough in its most general implications, but it places greater emphasis upon retentiveness of what has been gained or of adherence to a support, position, or idea; it carries a strong suggestion of holding on, of adhesiveness, or of maintaining strength or position in spite of all opposing forces that would dislodge, dispossess, thwart, or weaken
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he had always held with tenacious devotion to one of the ancient traditions of his race— Wolfe

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he seemed to hold on to life by a single thread only, but that single thread was very tenaciousArnold

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When applied to material things and especially to substances it may suggest a powerful clinging quality and extraordinary resistance to forces that tend to effect separation or pulling apart
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tenacious mud

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bold and tenacious as the bamboo shooting up through the hard ground of winter— Binyon

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When applied to persons it suggests a stubborn hold upon something (as a possession or an opinion) that defies the efforts of others to break
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Italians in possession are probably as tenacious of their rights as any one else— Lucas

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Analogous words: *vigorous, energetic, lusty: *powerful, potent, forcible, forceful: robust, sound, *healthy: vehement, *intense, fierce, exquisite, violent
Antonyms: weak

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • Strong — Strong, a. [Compar. {Stronger}; superl. {Strongest}.] [AS. strang, strong; akin to D. & G. streng strict, rigorous, OHG. strengi strong, brave, harsh, Icel. strangr strong, severe, Dan. streng, Sw. str[ a]ng strict, severe. Cf. {Strength},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • strong — [strɒŋ ǁ strɒːŋ] adjective ECONOMICS FINANCE 1. a strong economy or business is financially successful, especially because a lot of money is being earned or received: • They fear a strong economy will lead to higher inflation. • products that… …   Financial and business terms

  • strong — [ strɔŋ ] adjective *** ▸ 1 powerful and healthy ▸ 2 produced with power ▸ 3 not easily damaged ▸ 4 relationship: close ▸ 5 with confidence, etc. ▸ 6 good at doing something ▸ 7 firmly believed/felt ▸ 8 based on reason/fact ▸ 9 high degree/level… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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