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."

3. Power of resisting attacks; impregnability. "Our castle's strength will laugh a siege to scorn."

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)

6. Force as measured; amount, numbers, or power of any body, as of an army, a navy, and the like; as, what is the strength of the enemy by land, or by sea?

7. Vigor or style; force of expression; nervous diction; said of literary work. "And praise the easy vigor of a life Where Denham's strength and Waller's sweetness join." (Pope)

8. Intensity; said of light or colour. "Bright Phoebus in his strength." (Shak)

9. Intensity or degree of the distinguishing and essential element; spirit; virtue; excellence; said of liquors, solutions, etc.; as, the strength of wine or of acids.

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." .

Synonyms: Force, robustness, toughness, hardness, stoutness, brawniness, lustiness, firmness, puissance, support, spirit, validity, authority. See Force.

Origin: OE. Strengthe, AS. Strengu, fr. Strang strong. See Strong.

(01 Mar 1998)