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 The ancient fortification is now one of the most visited landmarks in the world. Katia Hetter And Ashley Strickland, CNN, "On Earth Day, here's the view from space," 22 Apr. 2021 The state legislature is scrambling to authorize more funding for such fortification, including tapping law enforcement from other states, while modest police reform bills have failed. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "Republicans’ Criminalization of Protest and Cops’ Crackdown on Journalists Go Hand in Hand," 20 Apr. 2021 Winstrup’s son declined to follow in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, taking up the study of military fortification rather than religious leadership. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Was This Mummified 17th-Century Bishop Buried With a Fetus?," 13 Apr. 2021 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other lawmakers have balked at the fortification put in place following the Jan. 6 Capitol siege. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "National Guard member dies from 'apparent medical emergency' while in Washington to protect Capitol," 11 Mar. 2021 The researchers say the enclosure may have held a small farmstead or a place for livestock, or perhaps represented a defensive fortification. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Hazelnut Shell Sheds Light on Life in Scotland More Than 10,000 Years Ago," 10 Mar. 2021 In doing the revetment (fortification) project, crews brought in additional stone to help secure the pumping station from strong waves, officials explained. Daniel I. Dorfman,, "Stone added at Sunrise Beach to protect North Shore Water Reclamation District pumping station," 5 Mar. 2021 Large demonstrations at the Oregon State Capitol never materialized amid a heightened law enforcement presence and the fortification of buildings including the Capitol itself. oregonlive, "Portlanders protest, celebrate; Capitol stays quiet: Looking back on Inauguration Day in Oregon," 21 Jan. 2021 Experts say the sudden collapse of security was a pre-planning failure and the result of a lack of building fortification. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "How the Capitol Can Stop Another Stormin g," 19 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for fortification

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fortification

Last Updated

25 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fortification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for fortification



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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