for·ti·fi·ca·tion | \ˌfȯr-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən \

Definition of fortification 

1 : an act or process of fortifying

2 : something that fortifies, defends, or strengthens especially : works erected to defend a place or position

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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

The preservation and renovation of the promenade walls, fortifications, towers and the Crusader market will be open to the public, with a visitor's center opening within the next few months, housed in an original Herodian structure. Eliana Rudee,, "Big splash at Caesarea Harbor as new project is unveiled," 14 June 2018 With the additions of Fabinho and Naby Keita creating a real fortification in midfield, Van Dijk will have a strong squad around him., "New Liverpool Favourite Virgil Van Dijk Focused on Personal Quest of Footballing Self-Improvement," 8 July 2018 One of the game’s core mechanics is collecting materials to build protective fortifications. NBC News, "What is 'Fortnite?': A look at the video game that has become a phenomenon," 30 June 2018 This story is one of the text’s few mentions of Abel Beth Maacah, an ancient fortification that once stood at the crossroads of three powerful kingdoms—Israel, Damascus and Tyre. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Could This Sculpted Head Depict a Little-Known Biblical King?," 11 June 2018 There aren't many pirates left, but back in the 16th century, when Barbarossa was ripping around the Mediterranean, visitors were probably glad for the fortifications. The Editors Of Gq, GQ, "8 European Beach Vacations That’ll Make Your Instagram Friends Jealous," 28 June 2018 No manner of fortifications—sea walls, backup generators, solar arrays, and dedicated electrical grids—can fully protect the market from a major storm. Sean Patrick Cooper, The New Republic, "Is America Ready for the Next Superstorm?," 4 June 2018 Even though Ancelotti's greatest skill is that of mental fortification, this has been most successful when combined with a team brimming with talent and potential, but low on confidence - think Real Madrid in 2013, or Chelsea in 2009., "Why Carlo Ancelotti Could Have a Tough Time Replacing Maurizio Sarri at Napoli," 1 June 2018 The militants, apparently expecting attack from the east, had left their fortifications unprepared for an attack from behind, according to Lt. Habib Khan Totakhil, WSJ, "U.S., Afghan Forces Launch Major Offensive Against Islamic State," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fortification.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fortification

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for fortification

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

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English Language Learners Definition of fortification

: the act of building military defenses to protect a place against attack : the act of fortifying something

: a structure (such as a wall or tower) that is built to protect a place


for·ti·fi·ca·tion | \ˌfȯr-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən \

Kids Definition of fortification

1 : the act of making stronger or enriching

2 : something built to strengthen or protect

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Comments on fortification

What made you want to look up fortification? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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