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Senior Member
Hi folk! This phrase is an extract from a famous Indian author's book : " India, with its billion-strong population, its modest place on the tally "so, can you give a meaning of ( billion-strong) ?Thanks in advance.
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    The suffix "-strong" is not uncommon when applied to numbers of people. It really just means "of the specified number". Another example: "five-strong team", a team of five people.

    It probably literally means "having the strength of X persons [or things]" (where X is the number), but is used generally as described above. It can also be used of things like ships, often in a military sense.


    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    I think in AE we may take the expression a little more literally-- I can't think of using it without evoking the power or effectiveness or advantage of numbers.

    "By the time they'd cut their first album, their fan base was a million strong."

    Notice that when placed in apposition strong is not a suffix, and the phrase is unhyphenated. Used adjectivally, we hyphenate it too.

    "The group has a million-strong fan base."
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