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

Fort Revere includes the remains of two seacoast fortifications and a burial ground for French soldiers who died fighting during the American Revolution. Sarah Wu,, "About 100 gather to protest racist graffiti found at Hull fort," 5 Sep. 2019 The first monument the researchers chose to date was the Gihon Spring tower, a massive fortification on the eastern slope of the City of David, which was erected in antiquity around the city’s water source to protect it from capture. Rachel Poser, Harper's magazine, "Common Ground," 19 Aug. 2019 In the city of Pilsen, an hour’s drive southwest of Prague, visitors can navigate restored tunnel sections that were used to store food, as water wells, and as secret, subterranean fortification in the Middle Ages. Meghan Miner Murray, National Geographic, "9 of Europe’s underground marvels," 2 Aug. 2019 Or like an oil painting of 18th-century fortifications protecting a sacred port. National Geographic, "Music in Morocco: The ultimate sonic journey," 23 July 2019 The first Oakland stop was a two-bedroom in the 1300 block of 62nd Avenue, surrounded by a five-foot-tall, black metal fence, matching most of the fortifications in the Lockwood Gardens neighborhood. Louis Hansen, The Mercury News, "The (nearly) impossible search for a cheap Bay Area home," 14 July 2019 But the fortification of the border that followed the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 and stepped-up security in the years since have made such comings and goings far more difficult. New York Times, "A Border Kept Him From His Daughter. Now He’s Here to Say Goodbye.," 17 July 2019 On a visit to the Great Wall, Mead shot Clemons fulfilling one of his dreams, to play his saxophone on the historic fortification. Ben Crandell,, "Clarence Clemons documentary: The Big Man’s spiritual quest on big screen," 13 July 2019 When combined with the network of watchtowers, the fortifications look even more strategic. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, "The Lost World of the Maya is Finally Emerging From the Jungle," 7 Feb. 2019

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

8 Sep 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

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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