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26 entries found
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strengthen (v.)
late 14c., from strength + -en (1). Related: Strengthened; strengthening; strengthener. Earlier verb was simply strength (12c.).
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enforce (v.)

mid-14c., "to drive by physical force; to try, attempt, strive; to fortify, strengthen a place;" late 14c. as "exert force, compel; make stronger, reinforce; strengthen an argument; grow stronger, become violent," from Old French enforcier "strengthen, reinforce; use force (on), offer violence (to); oppress; violate, rape" (12c.) or a native formation from en- (1) "make, put in" + force (n.). Meaning "compel obedience to" (a law, etc.) is from 1640s. Related: Enforced; enforcing.

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fortify (v.)
early 15c., "increase efficacy" (of medicine); mid-15c., "provide (a town) with walls and defenses," from Old French fortifiier (14c.) "to fortify, strengthen," from Late Latin fortificare "to strengthen, make strong," from Latin fortis "strong" (see fort) + combining form of facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Sense of "to strengthen mentally or morally" is from late 15c. Meaning "add liquor or alcohol" is from 1880; meaning "add nutrients to food" is from 1939. Related: Fortified; fortifying.
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discomfort (n.)

mid-14c., "misfortune, adversity;" late 14c., "grief, sorrow; discouragement," from Old French desconfort (12c.), from desconforter (v.), from des- (see dis-) + conforter "to comfort, to solace; to help, strengthen," from Late Latin confortare "to strengthen much" (used in Vulgate); see comfort (v.). Meaning "absence of comfort or pleasure, condition of being uncomfortable" is by 1841.

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discomfort (v.)

c. 1300, discomforten, "to deprive of courage," from Old French desconforter (Modern French déconforter), from des- (see dis-) + conforter "to comfort, to solace; to help, strengthen," from Late Latin confortare "to strengthen much" (used in Vulgate); see comfort (v.). Meaning "make uncomfortable or uneasy" is by 1856. Related: Discomforted; discomforting.

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affirm (v.)

Middle English affermen, affirmen, "to decide upon" (c. 1300); "to state positively" (late 14c.), from Old French afermer (Modern French affirmer) "affirm, confirm; strengthen, consolidate," from Latin affirmare "to make steady, strengthen," figuratively "confirm, corroborate," from ad "to" (see ad-) + firmare "strengthen, make firm," from firmus "strong" (from suffixed form of PIE root *dher- "to hold firmly, support").

The spelling was refashioned 16c. in French and English on Latin model. Legal sense "declare solemnly (as before a court) but without an oath" is from early 15c. Related: Affirmed; affirming.

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comfort (v.)

late 13c., conforten "to cheer up, console, soothe when in grief or trouble," from Old French conforter "to comfort, to solace; to help, strengthen," from Late Latin confortare "to strengthen much" (used in Vulgate), from assimilated form of Latin com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + fortis "strong" (see fort).

The change of -n- to -m- began in English 14c. In Middle English also "give or add strength to" (c. 1300); "encourage, urge, exhort" (c. 1300). Related: Comforted; comforting.

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confirm (v.)

mid-13c., confirmyn, confermen "to ratify, sanction, make valid by a legal act," from Old French confermer (13c., Modern French confirmer) "strengthen, establish, consolidate; affirm by proof or evidence; anoint (a king)," from Latin confirmare "make firm, strengthen, establish," from assimilated form of com"together," but here perhaps an intensive prefix (see con-), + firmare "to strengthen," from firmus "strong, steadfast" (from suffixed form of PIE root *dher- "to hold firmly, support").

From mid-14c. as "make firm or more firm, add strength to;" late 14c. as "make certain or sure, give an assurance of truth, verify." Related: Confirmative; confirmatory.

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corroborate (v.)

1520s, "to give (legal) confirmation to," from Latin corroboratus, past participle of corroborare "to strengthen, invigorate," from assimilated form of com "with, together," here perhaps "thoroughly" (see com-) + roborare "to make strong," from robur, robus "strength," (see robust).

Meaning "to strengthen by evidence, to confirm" is from 1706. Sometimes 16c.-18c. in its literal Latin sense "make strong or add strength to," especially of medicines. Related: Corroborated; corroborating; corroborative.

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affirmation (n.)

early 15c., "assertion that something is true," from Old French afermacion "confirmation" (14c.), from Latin affirmationem (nominative affirmatio) "an affirmation, solid assurance," noun of action from past-participle stem of affirmare "to make steady; strengthen; confirm," from ad "to" (see ad-) + firmare "strengthen, make firm," from firmus "strong" (see firm (adj.)). In law, as the word for the conscientious objector alternative to oath-taking (Quakers, Moravians, etc.), it is attested from 1690s; if false, it incurs the same penalty as perjury.

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