fortify

verb
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

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Other Words from fortify

fortifier \ ˈfȯr-​tə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce fortifier (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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Instead, Democratic centrists in the House were fortified by the overwhelming Senate vote blocked that strategy, touching off an intense round of finger-pointing. Author: Mike Debonis, Rachael Bade, Anchorage Daily News, "‘A betrayal’: Inside Pelosi, Schumer’s rift on border bill," 29 June 2019 In response to the national scandal, the University of California — not just Cal or UCLA but the whole system — is fortifying its admissions process. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: NBA Draft results in six Pac-12 players selected and six early-entries shunned," 21 June 2019 Over the same span, Symantec is aware of Turla compromising 13 organizations, many of them well fortified, in 10 countries. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Nation-sponsored hackers likely carried out hostile takeover of rival group’s servers," 20 June 2019 It was fortified multiple times throughout its history, including during World War II, when the threat of German invasion loomed. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Calling All Green Thumbs! A Legendary British Island Is Looking to Hire a Resident Gardener," 5 June 2019 Walk Dalt Vila Dalt Vila, Ibiza’s fortified old town, rests on a promontory overlooking the city’s harbor and the glistening sea. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "For Authentic Ibiza, Visit in the Winter," 15 Feb. 2019 The Koreas' 248-kilometer (155-mile) border is the world's most heavily fortified, with hundreds of thousands of troops stationed along a line that's laced with mines, barbed wire fences and anti-tank traps. Fox News, "South Korean president heads to North for summit with Kim," 18 Sep. 2018 By doing so, natural protections, such as oyster reefs that buffer against sea-level rise, cleanse water and are important economically to the area as well, can be fortified. Amy Green, miamiherald, "With Gov. Scott and legislature in denial, tiny town adapts on its own to climate change," 11 July 2018 Yak butter and milk as well as salt are added to a special black tea from Pemagul to make the soupy traditional drink, which fortifies against the thin, cold air of the Himalaya Mountains. National Geographic, "What is a yak?," 26 Mar. 2019

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

2 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for fortify

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

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More Definitions for fortify

fortify

verb

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

fortify

verb
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. 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

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