for·​ti·​fy | \ ˈfȯr-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce fortify (audio) \
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 strengthen or enhance by the addition of some substance or ingredient: such as
(1) : to add distilled grape spirits to (wine) during fermentation to increase the alcohol content … both the red and white versions we get in this country have been American-made-from California wine fortified with a touch of brandy.— Jim Nelson
(2) : to enrich (food) by adding ingredients (such as vitamins or minerals) to improve the nutritional value … make sure any soy milk you buy is fortified with vitamin D, an essential nutrient for bone health.— Selene Yeager

Other Words from fortify

fortifier \ ˈfȯr-​tə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce fortify (audio) \ 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
Recent Examples on the Web While being constructed, engineers used a mixture of simulations and actual test impacts on mirror samples to more clearly understand how to fortify the observatory for operation in orbit. Julia Musto, Fox News, 9 June 2022 Rather than try to hog the spotlight or fall back on formula, the firm astutely figured out how to fortify an already great ensemble. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 15 Dec. 2021 This book continues and updates our understanding of how America welcomes its newest members and how these individuals fortify the structure of this nation. Star Tribune, 26 June 2021 The latest attack is expected to reignite a debate in Congress over how to fortify the nation's seat of democracy. Editors, USA TODAY, 3 Apr. 2021 While these attacks will certainly continue, focusing on machine identity management and reinforcing it through automation can help fortify your security posture and build cyber-resilience, which is a critical need today. Gregory Webb, Forbes, 11 July 2022 That's where nail strengtheners come in: These products help to fortify cuticles and harden nails, protecting them from peeling and breaking with regular use over time. Danusia Wnek, Good Housekeeping, 29 June 2022 Similar to a hair masks, nail strengtheners contain proteins and vitamins and that help fortify your nails. Jillian Ruffo, Harper's BAZAAR, 21 June 2022 Probiotics can help to fortify your immune system and reduce your susceptibility to illness. The Salt Lake Tribune, 31 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near fortify

fortified wine



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Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fortify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for fortify


for·​ti·​fy | \ ˈfȯr-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce fortify (audio) \
fortified; fortifying

Kids Definition of fortify

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

More from Merriam-Webster on fortify

Nglish: Translation of fortify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fortify for Arabic Speakers


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