verb for·ti·fy \ ˈfȯr-tə-ˌfī \
|Updated on: 13 Aug 2018

Definition of fortify

fortified; fortifying
: to make strong: such as
a : to strengthen and secure (a place, such as a town) by forts or batteries
  • a city fortified by high walls
b : to give physical strength, courage, or endurance to
  • fortified by a hearty meal
c : to add mental or moral strength to : encourage
  • fortified by prayer
  • fortified by early successes
d : to add material to for strengthening or enriching
  • fortified milk


play \ˈfȯr-tə-ˌfī(-ə)r\ noun

Examples of fortify in a Sentence

  1. fortify a city against attack

  2. a city fortified by high walls

  3. Support for his theories has been fortified by the results of these experiments.

  4. He took a deep breath to fortify himself before stepping onto the stage.

  5. milk fortified with vitamin D

Recent Examples of fortify from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Medieval cities were fortified against attack by high walls, and volunteers may fortify a levee against an overflowing river by means of sandbags. Foods can be fortified by adding vitamins, but "fortified wines", such as sherry and port, have brandy (a "stronger" drink) rather than vitamins added to them. By adopting good exercise habits, you can fortify your body against illness. And fortifying needn't always be physical. An author's reputation may be fortified by the success of his new book, or a prosecutor can fortify a case against a suspect by finding more evidence.

Origin and Etymology of fortify

Middle English fortifien, from Anglo-French fortifier, from Late Latin fortificare, from Latin fortis strong

FORTIFY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of fortify for English Language Learners

  • : to strengthen (a place) by building military defenses (such as walls, trenches, etc.)

  • : to make (someone or something) stronger

  • : to make (yourself) feel stronger or less fearful

FORTIFY Defined for Kids


verb for·ti·fy \ ˈfȯr-tə-ˌfī \

Definition of fortify for Students

fortified; fortifying
1 : to make strong
  • Walls fortified the city against attack.
  • Calcium fortifies bones.
2 : to add material to (something) to strengthen or improve it
  • The cereal was fortified with vitamins.

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


very hard to disturb or upset

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet-pasta-spelling-help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!