fortification

noun

for·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion ˌfȯr-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce fortification (audio)
1
: an act or process of fortifying
2
: something that fortifies, defends, or strengthens
especially : works erected to defend a place or position

Did you know?

In the Middle Ages, many European cities were entirely enclosed by sturdy walls, with walkways along the top and towers at intervals, designed to make an invasion impossible. A water-filled ditch, or moat, might run alongside the wall for added defense. Such defenses turned the entire city into a fort, or fortress. Over the centuries, fortifications changed steadily with the development of new weaponry. In World War II, the German fortification of the French coast included antitank barriers, bunkers, minefields, and underwater obstacles, but it wasn't enough to turn back the immense force of the Allied invasion on D-day.

Examples of fortification in a Sentence

They began the fortification and reconstruction of the city. defenders at the border fortifications preparing for an attack
Recent Examples on the Web Sea walls can even speed up erosion in nearby areas by redirecting wave energy toward neighboring sand stretches that don’t have fortifications. Jake Bittle, WIRED, 10 Feb. 2024 Built about 4,000 years ago, the fortification surrounds Khaybar, one of the area’s oldest oases—fertile, green regions of the arid desert. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Jan. 2024 Although that conflict never officially ended, the fortification and stabilization of the 38th parallel eventually produced a durable armistice that allowed South Korea to flourish. Emma Ashford, Foreign Affairs, 10 Jan. 2024 Salah El Din ordered its construction as a fortification against the Crusaders in 1176 and it was subsequently expanded under the Mamluks, the Ottomans, and finally the Mohammed Ali dynasty. Nada El Sawy, Condé Nast Traveler, 21 Nov. 2023 Read More: Tree Rings Hint at the Fall of the Hittite Empire The Cuneiform Tablets of Hattusa Today, all that's still standing in Hattusa are some of city's temples, royal residences, and fortifications, including the ruins of the Great Temple, dedicated to the god Teshub and the goddess Arinna. Sean Mowbray, Discover Magazine, 21 Nov. 2023 Both men were sappers, military engineers who specialized in the repair of fortifications, roads and bridges—or, in this case, destroying them. Myke Cole and Michael Livingston, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Feb. 2024 Today, all that's still standing in Hattusa are some of city's temples, royal residences, and fortifications, including the ruins of the Great Temple, dedicated to the god Teshub and the goddess Arinna. Sean Mowbray, Discover Magazine, 21 Nov. 2023 Both German companies and Ukrainian forces would benefit from German government spending on material for fortifications. Emma Ashford, Foreign Affairs, 10 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fortification.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fortification was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near fortification

Cite this Entry

“Fortification.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fortification. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

fortification

noun
for·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion ˌfȯrt-ə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce fortification (audio)
1
: the act of fortifying
2
: a construction built for defense
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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