for·​ti·​fy | \ˈfȯr-tə-ˌfī \
fortified; fortifying

Definition of fortify 

transitive verb

: 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

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Other Words from fortify

fortifier \ˈfȯr-​tə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r \ noun

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.

Examples of fortify in a Sentence

fortify a city against attack a city fortified by high walls Support for his theories has been fortified by the results of these experiments. He took a deep breath to fortify himself before stepping onto the stage. milk fortified with vitamin D
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Boston University endocrinologist, who perhaps more than anyone else is responsible for creating a billion-dollar vitamin D sales and testing juggernaut, elevates his own levels of the stuff with supplements and fortified milk. Liz Szabo, The Seattle Times, "The man who sold America on vitamin D — and profited in the process," 20 Aug. 2018 And this natural ability is fortified by constant research — visiting exhibitions, making studio visits and maintaining relations with artists, gallerists, curators and other collectors. George Varga,, "Cheech Marin of Cheech & Chong talks about pot, comedy, music, golf and his Chicano art museum," 11 July 2018 The next opportunity to fortify the defending Super Bowl champions doesn’t arrive until the fourth round, 130th overall. Les Bowen,, "Slim pickings this year for the Eagles? Their draft situation is historically bad," 22 Apr. 2018 So the Saints drafted a long-term right tackle, Ryan Ramczyk, in the first round, and a three-down back, Alvin Kamara, late in the third, fortifying the secondary with cornerback Marson Lattimore and safety Marcus Williams in between. Peter King,, "Wild-Card Wows By Drew Brees, Saints Set Up NFL Divisional Playoff Matchup For The Ages," 8 Jan. 2018 Beyond those effects, a Democratic takeover of the Senate and House will fortify and embolden Congress to serve as a check against the presidency. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "The 2018 election is a referendum on American democracy," 5 Nov. 2018 Over the next few weeks, fortify your exquisite tastes with trips to art galleries, wine tasting excursions, or a few indulgent shopping sprees. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's August 2018 Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 30 July 2018 The students had fortified their campus with brick and barbed-wire barriers. Joshua Partlow,, "Inside the church where Nicaraguan paramilitaries laid siege on university students," 14 July 2018 Build walls, fortify schools, arm teachers, install metal detectors. Paul Daugherty,, "Morning Line: After Annapolis killings, Doc asks what the hell is wrong with us," 2 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of fortify

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for fortify

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

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Statistics for fortify

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fortify

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

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More Definitions for fortify



English Language Learners Definition of fortify

: 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


for·​ti·​fy | \ˈfȯr-tə-ˌfī \
fortified; fortifying

Kids Definition of fortify

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on fortify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fortify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fortify

Spanish Central: Translation of fortify

Nglish: Translation of fortify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fortify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fortify

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a nest or breeding place

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