1. The quality or state of being strong; ability to do or to bear; capacity for exertion or endurance, whether physical, intellectual, or moral; force; vigor; power; as, strength of body or of the arm; strength of mind, of memory, or of judgment. "All his [Samson's] strength in his hairs were." (Chaucer) "Thou must outlive Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty." (Milton)
2. Power to resist force; solidity or toughness; the quality of bodies by which they endure the application of force without breaking or yielding; in this sense opposed to frangibility; as, the strength of a bone, of a beam, of a wall, a rope, and the like. "The brittle strength of bones."
4. That quality which tends to secure results; effective power in an institution or enactment; security; validity; legal or moral force; logical conclusiveness; as, the strength of social or legal obligations; the strength of law; the strength of public opinion; strength of evidence; strength of argument.
5. One who, or that which, is regarded as embodying or affording force, strength, or firmness; that on which confidence or reliance is based; support; security. "God is our refuge and strength." (Ps. Xlvi. 1) "What they boded would be a mischief to us, you are providing shall be one of our principal strengths." (Sprat) "Certainly there is not a greater strength against temptation." (Jer. Taylor)
10. A strong place; a stronghold. On, or Upon, the strength of, in reliance upon. "The allies, after a successful summer, are too apt, upon the strength of it, to neglect their preparations for the ensuing campaign." .
Origin: OE. Strengthe, AS. Strengu, fr. Strang strong. See Strong.
(01 Mar 1998)
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