for·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌfȯr-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce fortification (audio) \

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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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 Natounissarokerta is composed of the royal name Natounissar, the founder of the Adiabene royal dynasty, and the Parthian word for moat or fortification, the study also said. Katie Hunt, CNN, 19 July 2022 The Vindolanda site is located south of the defense fortification known as Hadrian's Wall. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 15 June 2022 Stroll along its cobblestone streets to see the five-centuries-old La Fortaleza, once a fortification for San Juan and now the official residence of Puerto Rico's governor. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 18 Mar. 2022 The researchers, who announced their findings last week, were able to map a massive fortification of walls, storage facilities and an industrial complex. Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 6 June 2022 Some of the discoveries include a fortification complete with towers and walls and a storage building multiple stories tall. Megan Marples, CNN, 20 June 2022 In the 14th century, Edward III turned Windsor Castle from a military fortification to a Gothic palace. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, 1 June 2022 Sahoglu and his colleagues excavated a part of Çeşme-Bağlararası not far from a massive stone fortification. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 5 Jan. 2022 Among the buildings found were an industrial complex, a fortification with a wall and towers, and a multi-story storage building. Jane Recker, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of fortification

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Dictionary Entries Near fortification



fortification agate

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fortification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for fortification


for·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌfȯr-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce fortification (audio) \

Kids Definition of fortification

1 : the act of making stronger or enriching
2 : something built to strengthen or protect


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