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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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

As selected by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, trees and brush were also cleared from around the dams earlier this year to allow the start of the fortification work to shore up any structural deficiencies. Thomas Jewell,, "Mysteries from the deep: Stolen car found during draining of Lower Shaker Lake," 10 June 2019 Hard too to think of a more rigorous education to be had anywhere in Europe: the classics and the Catholic catechism, but also mathematics and physics, geography and music, philosophy and fortifications. Adam Zamoyski, The New York Review of Books, "An Ordinary Man," 4 Apr. 2019 The road before us is just one piece of a vast network leading to terraced fields, reservoirs, defensive fortifications and more, all sprawling invisibly throughout the forest. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, "The Lost World of the Maya is Finally Emerging From the Jungle," 7 Feb. 2019 Some educators fear that increased spending on school fortifications will lead to cuts to programs that involve human intervention, such as mental health care. Justin Pritchard, The Seattle Times, "Firms sell mass-shooting solutions, but can gadgets and hardware save lives?," 2 Oct. 2018 Its small greens and their impressive fortification demands deft iron play, a fierce putter, and a steely resolve. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: Why is the U.S. Open not played at Pebble Beach more often?," 16 June 2019 This afternoon, venture into St. George’s Castle in Elmina, the oldest of the European fortifications, built by the Portuguese as a gold trading center in 1482 and taken over by the Dutch in the 1600s. National Geographic, "Africa by Private Jet," 12 June 2019 The concrete fortifications made destroying them via air power or naval guns difficult. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch U.S. Army Rangers Scale The Same Cliff Their Forebears Did on D-Day," 6 June 2019 The idea originated in the 18th century, when a mathematician working for Napoleon Bonaparte tried to find the most efficient way to build a network of earthen fortifications. Quanta Magazine, "A Traveler Who Finds Stability in the Natural World," 1 Aug. 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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Statistics for fortification

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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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 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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Comments on fortification

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