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be (someone's) strong suit

To be something, such as a subject, activity, or field, at which someone is particularly skilled or adept. Working with computers was never my strong suit, so this receptionist position is going to be a real challenge for me. Movie trivia is one of Sam's strong suits, so I think we should ask her to be on our pub quiz team.
See also: strong, suit

strong suit

A subject, activity, or field, at which someone is particularly skilled or adept. Working with computers was never my strong suit, so this receptionist position is going to be a real challenge for me. Movie trivia is one of Sam's strong suits, so I think we should ask her to be on our pub quiz team.
See also: strong, suit

a chain is only as strong as its weakest link

If one part of something is weak, it jeopardizes the integrity, quality, or effectiveness of the whole. I need to make sure that everyone on our debate team is well-prepared, since a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
See also: chain, link, strong, weak

go strong

To proceed energetically or successfully. Grandpa is such an inspiration—he's 92 and still going strong with a more active social life than I have! Our marketing campaign is going strong this quarter, so I'm expecting a big bump in sales.
See also: strong

chain is no stronger than its weakest link

Prov. A successful group or team relies on each member doing well. George is completely out of shape. I don't want him on our ball team; a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
See also: chain, link, strong, weak

come on

1. Stop it!; Stop doing that. (Usually come On!) Mary: Are you really going to sell your new car? Sally: Come on! How dumb do you think I am?
2. please oblige me. Mother: Sorry. You can't go! Bill: Come on, let me go to the picnic! "Come on," whined Jimmy, "I want some more!"
3. to hurry up; to follow someone. If you don't come on, we'll miss the train.
4. [for electricity or some other device] to start operating. After a while, the lights came on again. I hope the heat comes on soon.
5. to walk out and appear on stage. You are to come on when you hear your cue.
6. Fig. [for a pain] to begin hurting; [for a disease] to attack someone. The pain began to come on again, and Sally had to lie down.
7. [for a program] to be broadcast on radio or television. The news didn't come on until an hour later.
See also: come, on

come on (duty)

to begin to work at one's scheduled time. When did you come on duty tonight? What time does she come on?
See also: come, on

come on

somehow to advance in some fashion, manner, rate, or degree. Darkness comes on early these days. The illness comes on by degrees.
See also: come, on

come on strong

 and come on like gangbusters
to seem aggressive; to impress people initially as very aggressive and assertive. She has a tendency to come on strong, but she's really a softie. The new president comes on strong at first.
See also: come, on, strong

come on (to someone)

Sl. to attempt to interest someone romantically or sexually. He was trying to come on to me, but I found him unappealing.
See also: come, on

come on(to) someone or something

to find someone or something by accident; to happen onto someone or something. When I was out on my walk, I came on a little shop that sells leather goods. I came onto an old friend of yours downtown today.
See also: come, on

come (up)on someone or something

to find or happen on someone or something. (See also happen (up)on someone or something.) I came upon Walter while I was in the bookstore. I came on this little store near Maple Street that has everything we need.
See also: come, on

Going strong

functioning well or energetically. We are still well and going strong.
See also: going, strong

have a head for something

Fig. have the mental capacity for something. Jane has a good head for directions and never gets lost. Bill doesn't have a head for figures and should never become an accountant.
See also: have, head

*a hold on someone a strong

 and secure influence on someone
(*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone~.) The strange religion seemed to have a strong hold on its followers. The drug has a hold on the minds of those who use it.
See also: hold, on, strong

*strong as a horse

 and *strong as an ox; *strong as a lion
Cliché [of a living creature] very strong. (*Also: as ~.) Jill: My car broke down; it's sitting out on the street. Jane: Get Linda to help you push it; she's as strong as a horse. The athlete was strong as an ox; he could lift his own weight with just one hand. The football player was strong as a lion.
See also: horse, strong

the strong, silent type

a strong, quiet man. Clark looks like the strong, silent type. Actually he is slightly deaf and that's fat, not muscle.
See also: silent, type

strong-arm tactics

force; the use of force. No more strong-arm tactics. You need to be more subtle. Strong-arm tactics are out. The boss says be gentle and don't hurt anybody.
See also: tactics

use strong language

Euph. to swear, threaten, or use abusive language. I wish you wouldn't use strong language in front of the children. If you feel that you have to use strong language with the manager, perhaps you had better let me do the talking.
See also: language, strong, use

(as) strong as a bull

See: (as) strong as an ox
See also: bull, strong

come on

tell the truth Oh, come on - you have no idea who stole your credit cards.
See also: come, on

come on strong

1. to act in a forceful way I didn't want to come on too strong, so I tried not to seem angry. The opposition came on strong with rallies and protests and an e-mail campaign.
2. to be popular Animal movies have come on strong again.
See also: come, on, strong

(still) going strong

to continue to be successful, healthy, or working well Our club was founded over 100 years ago, and it's still going strong.
Usage notes: usually used after the verb be, as in the example
See also: going, strong

have a head for something

to have a natural ability to do something well I never had a head for music.
See also: have, head

(as) strong as an ox

very strong (as) strong as a bull He's one of our best players – strong as an ox, with good speed and great hands.
Etymology: based on the idea that an ox (male cow) is a very strong animal
See also: ox, strong

a strong stomach

the ability not to be upset by unpleasant things You have to have a strong stomach to invest in the stock market these days.
See also: stomach, strong

a strong stomach

the ability to watch very unpleasant things without getting upset or feeling ill (often + to do sth) Some of the war scenes are fairly horrific - you need to have a strong stomach to watch them.
See also: stomach, strong

be as strong as an ox

a person who is as strong as an ox is very strong Get Carl to lift it - he's as strong as an ox.
See also: ox, strong

be somebody's strong point/suit

if an ability or quality is your strong suit, you have a lot of it (usually negative) It has to be said, logic isn't Katherine's strong point. Charm is not his strong suit but at least he knows it.
See also: point, strong

come on strong

1. (informal) to speak to someone in a way that shows you have a strong sexual interest in them Towards the end of the evening he was coming on strong and I knew it was time to leave.
2. (mainly American) to speak to someone in a very angry or threatening way I have to come on strong with some of the guys to get them to cooperate.
See also: come, on, strong

come on

1. Move forward, progress, develop. For example, We stopped as soon as darkness began to come on. [Early 1600s]
2. Hurry up, as in Come on now, it's getting late. This imperative to urge someone forward has been so used since about 1450.
3. Also, come upon. Meet or find unexpectedly, as in We came on him while walking down the street, or I came upon an old friend in the bookstore today. [Second half of 1700s]
4. Make a stage entrance, as in After the next cue she comes on from the right. [Early 1800s]
5. Please oblige me, as in Come on, that's no excuse for leaving, or Come on, you'll really like this restaurant. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
6. Convey a specific personal image, as in He comes on like a go-getter but he's really rather timid. [Slang; c. 1940]
7. Also, come on strong. Behave or speak in an aggressive way, as in Take it easy; you're coming on awfully strong. [c. 1940]
8. Also, come on to. Make sexual advances, as in She reported her boss for coming on to her. This usage probably was derived from the earlier use of the noun come-on for a sexual advance. [Slang; 1950s]
See also: come, on

have a head for

Also, have a good or strong head for .
1. Be able to tolerate, as in Nell has no head for liquor, or Luckily I have a good head for heights. [Early 1800s]
2. Have a mental aptitude for, as in She has a good head for figures and straightened out the statistics in no time. [Early 1900s]
See also: have, head

strong point

Also, strong suit. An area in which someone or something excels, as in That beautiful lobby is the building's strong point, or Writing is her strong suit. The first term was first recorded in 1840; the variant alludes to various card games, in which it signifies the suit with the highest or most cards.
See also: point, strong

strong silent type

A man of action who is reserved and masks his feelings. For example, Paula always preferred the strong silent type to more extroverted men. Almost never used for a woman, this expression may be obsolescent. [c. 1900]
See also: silent, strong, type

come on

1. To begin by degrees: Darkness came on quickly that evening. I have a terrible sore throat; I feel the flu coming on.
2. To begin to be broadcast or communicated, as of television or radio programs: My son's favorite show doesn't come on until 7:30.
3. To connect to a channel of communication: We had been talking for an hour when my cousin came on the phone and asked us to stop.
4. To activate or be activated: The room was dark when the lights suddenly came on.
5. To hurry up; move rapidly. Used chiefly as a command: Would you please come on? We'll be late!
6. To stop an inappropriate behavior; abandon a position or an attitude; be obliging. Used chiefly as a command: Come on; you've been using the same feeble excuse for weeks.
7. To convey a particular personal image: The fellow comes on as an old-fashioned reactionary, but he's actually quite open-minded.
8. Slang come on to To show sexual interest in someone: Two people tried to come on to me at the party.
See also: come, on

come on

1. n. a lure; bait. (Usually come-on.) It’s just a come on. Nobody is giving away a decent color TV just for listening to a sales pitch.
2. n. an invitation; a sexual invitation. (Usually come-on.) She stared at him with her bedroom eyes, giving him that age-old come-on.
3. in. to begin to perform well. In the second scene, the entire cast came on, and the audience loved it.
4. in. to feel the effects of a drug; for a drug to take effect. (Drugs.) After what seemed a long time, I began to come on to the stuff.
5. exclam. You are wrong! (Usually Come on!) Come on! Wasteful spending occurs at all levels of all governments! Nobody is innocent!
See also: come, on

come on strong

and come on like gangbusters
in. to seem aggressive; to impress people initially as very aggressive and assertive. (See explanation at like gangbusters.) She has a tendency to come on strong, but she’s really a softie. Bob comes on like gangbusters and gets meaner the more he drinks.
See also: come, on, strong


1. tv. to force someone (to do something). Spike tried to strong-arm Frank into cooperating.
2. mod. forceful; by physical force. The strong-arm approach got him nowhere.

strong-arm man

n. a bully; a man who is employed to use physical power to force someone to do something. Wilbur is Mr. Gutman’s strong-arm man.
See also: man

strong-arm tactics

n. tactics based on the use of force. Strong-arm tactics are out. The boss says be gentle and don’t break anybody.
See also: tactics
References in classic literature ?
Doctor Strong regarded him with a puzzled and doubting look, which almost immediately subsided into a smile that gave me great encouragement; for it was full of amiability and sweetness, and there was a simplicity in it, and indeed in his whole manner, when the studious, pondering frost upon it was got through, very attractive and hopeful to a young scholar like me.
Now Hercules (though strong enough, as you already know, to hold the sky up) began to be sensible that he should never win the victory, if he kept on knocking Antaeus down; for, by and by, if he hit him such hard blows, the Giant would inevitably, by the help of his Mother Earth, become stronger than the mighty Hercules himself.
The tug of the current was strong upon her, like a giant hand reaching up out of the cruel river to bear her back to death.
Bowing low to Miss Strong, and inclining his head to Tarzan, he turned to leave them.
The world belongs to the strong - to the strong who are noble as well and who do not wallow in the swine-trough of trade and exchange.
One with a strong stomach and a hard head may be able to tolerate much of the unconscious and undeliberate cruelty and torture of the world that is perpetrated in hot blood and stupidity.
Knuckle-Bone was a strong man, a very strong man, and he knew not law.
Gladly," said the Strong Man, his face illuminated with the glory of his thought.
Aunt Plenty says I'm not strong enough for much exercise.
He was so strong that at running, jumping, or throwing a stone no one could beat him.
These, then, stood against the Titans in grim strife, holding huge rocks in their strong hands.
But a voice behind me, the unmistakable voice of Wolf Larsen, strong with the invincible certitude of the man and mellow with appreciation of the words he was quoting, aroused me.
And as strong winds will we live above them, neighbours to the eagles, neighbours to the snow, neighbours to the sun: thus live the strong winds.
Here and there among the moss and marsh plants this scent was very strong, but it was impossible to determine in which direction it grew stronger or fainter.
He is elaborating now the idea of a world planned out like an immense and nice hospital, with gardens and flowers, in which the strong are to devote themselves to the nursing of the weak.