Can "stark" be used as a synonym to "strong" or "of a strong will" in a sentence like "She was a strong person" or "You need to be strong to stay sane in captivity"?

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    Did you use a dictionary? How does the dictionary define "stark"? According to that, is "stark" a synonym of "strong"?
    – virolino
    Mar 26, 2019 at 7:11
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    @virolino I have. Synonyms are tricky. One can never be sure they fully correspond to each others meanings.
    – Probably
    Mar 26, 2019 at 7:14
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    Please provide a link to a definition where the stark = strong. Do that by editing the question, please, in order to comply with the rules of ELL.
    – virolino
    Mar 26, 2019 at 7:20
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    Also, please provide an explanation (editing the question) why do you think the two words are synonyms. Do they sound synonyms to you? A friend told you? You found it in a book? On the Internet?...
    – virolino
    Mar 26, 2019 at 7:21
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    Please do not feel offended. I did not ask you to explain the words, I asked you to explain your understanding of the words. According to the dictionaries I found, it is quite impossible that the two words are synonyms in any way. BTW, I am not a native English speaker myself.
    – virolino
    Mar 26, 2019 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


I suppose you found something like the Merriam-Webster definition, which has it meaning "strong, robust". You may also note there that this is listed as an archaic sense of the word. That is to say, you will find it in old texts, or when people are trying to be deliberately anachronistic, but it is not used in that way now.

So no, you can't use it in that way if you want people to understand you.

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