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First post here but I'm wondering if there is a word that encompasses strong, robust, flexible, powerful? I was thinking of zenith personally, but can anybody think of similar words?

closed as off-topic by Hellion, Edwin Ashworth, tchrist, Drew, Andrew Leach Feb 7 '15 at 20:07

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    I'm not sure what zenith has to do with any of those words - it's just the top, the highest point, straight upwards, the opposite of nadir. – Simon B Feb 5 '15 at 8:25
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    Not too many words that could mean both strong and flexible! Zenith may not be related at all. – Raghuraman R Feb 5 '15 at 8:35
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    I don't see what's wrong with "robust." If you are describing a person, "agile" is a broader description than most people realize. You should really tell us what you want to describe with your adjective! – Adrian W Feb 5 '15 at 10:27
  • Depending on the context: Vigorous! Dynamic! Effective! Or now that I'm over fifty: young! – ScotM Feb 6 '15 at 11:35
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a SWR requesting a synonym for widely disparate words. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 6 '15 at 17:24
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Perhaps "ultimate" would suit your needs better than "zenith". As descriptors, how about: unbreakable, impervious, Herculean, incorruptible?

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I don't think that there is a word that covers all that adjectives, and as suggested in the comments zenith is not related to them.

I think efficacious may come close to what you are looking for as it suggest the idea of power (see etymology) and adaptability:

  • capable of or successful in producing an intended result; effective as a means, remedy, etc.

  • (from Latin efficāx powerful, efficient, from efficere to achieve)

(TFD)

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On the face, strong and powerful seem to have the most in common, while flexible seems to be the outlier. Strong, powerful and flexible are all listed as synonyms of robust, suggesting it has the broadest semantic field to include the other three words considered:

Robust would be a decent choice:

ADJECTIVE

1.0 (Of an object) sturdy in construction:

1.1 Strong and healthy; vigorous:

1.2 (Of a system, organization, etc.) able to withstand or overcome adverse conditions:

1.3 Uncompromising and forceful:

OED

Origin

1540s, from Middle French robuste (14c.) and directly from Latin robustus "strong and hardy," literally "as strong as oak," originally "oaken,"

from robur, robus "hard timber, strength," also "a special kind of oak," named for its reddish heartwood,

from Latin ruber "red" (related to robigo "rust"),

from PIE *reudh- (see red (adj.1)).

Etymonline.com Emphasis mine

The idea of strength is clearly present, and the ability to withstand adverse conditions connects to flexibility.

Vigorous arises from the definition of robust:

ADJECTIVE

1.0 Strong, healthy, and full of energy:

1.1 Characterized by or involving physical strength, effort, or energy:

OED

Origin

c.1300 (early 13c. as a surname), from Anglo-French vigrus, Old French vigoros "strong, robust, powerful" (12c., Modern French vigoreux),

from Medieval Latin vigorosus,

from Latin vigere "be lively, flourish, thrive"

(see vigor)

c.1300, "physical strength, energy in an activity,"

from Anglo-French vigour, Old French vigor "force, strength" (Modern French vigueur),

from Latin vigorem (nominative vigor) "liveliness, activity, force,"

from vigere "be lively, flourish, thrive,"

from PIE root *weg- (2) "be lively or active"

Again, strong is clearly present in the meaning of vigorous. Powerful is implied in the exertion of energy and force in activity. The notion lively accepts flexibility comfortably with its implication of resilient thriving.

Moving away from a definitive approach, the effect of an entity with the four qualities could be described as dynamic:

ADJECTIVE

1.0 (Of a process or system) characterized by constant change, activity, or progress: a dynamic economy

2.0 (Of a person) positive in attitude and full of energy and new ideas:

Origin

1817 as a term in philosophy; 1827 in the sense "pertaining to force producing motion" (the opposite of static),

from French dynamique introduced by German mathematician Gottfried Leibnitz (1646-1716) in 1691

from Greek dynamikos "powerful,"

from dynamis "power,"

from dynasthai "to be able, to have power, be strong enough," which is of unknown origin.

The figurative sense of "active, potent, energetic" is from 1856 (in Emerson).

Powerful is present by connection to the Greek dynamikos, and strong by connection to powerful. The emphasis on active change captures the essence of robust flexibility.

Of course anything that is powerful, strong, robust and flexible would be effective in most endeavors.

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Are you describing a person or a thing? If it's a person, how about "protean"? It's a bit florid, perhaps? The word comes from Proteus, a greek god associated with change and water, so it implies both versatility and great ability.

  • What does protean mean? – Kris Feb 5 '15 at 11:37
  • . able to do many different things; versatile. "Shostakovich was a remarkably protean composer, one at home in a wide range of styles" -google – Olly Feb 6 '15 at 14:13

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