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A strongman is a political leader who rules by force and runs a authoritarian regime. The term is often used interchangeably with "dictator."

A strongman is not necessarily always a formal Head of State, however. Sometimes the term is used to describe a military or political figure who exercises far more influence over the government than is constitutionally allowed. General Manuel Noriega, for example, was often dubbed the "Strongman of Panama" for the enormous amount of political power he exercised over Panama, despite the fact that he was not the formal president of the nation.

A strongman is also a performer whose feats involve weightlifting, and often bodybuilding.

Some famous strongmen: