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

transitive verb

: to make strong: such as
: to strengthen and secure (a place, such as a town) by forts or batteries
a city fortified by high walls
: to give physical strength, courage, or endurance to
fortified by a hearty meal
: to add mental or moral strength to : encourage
fortified by prayer
fortified by early successes
: to strengthen or enhance by the addition of some substance or ingredient: such as
: 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
: 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
fortifier 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 The Steelers go back to Georgia in back-to-back years fortify their offensive line for years to come. Clarence E. Hill Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 8 Apr. 2024 And, in order to provide the all-glass house with more privacy from neighboring homes, the areas alongside the home were fortified with towering pines and other trees and plants that form a dense, verdant screen. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 4 Apr. 2024 This type of approach can not only fortify client relationships but can also lead to product enhancements directly influenced by user feedback. Nelly Voukaki, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 But the Panthers should still try to fortify the position beyond their two starting pass rushers with Gamecocks ties. Mike Kaye, Charlotte Observer, 27 Mar. 2024 That means establishing a second line of defense inside the border, fortify existing boundary outposts, and establish additional border stations. Amos Yadlin, Foreign Affairs, 8 Mar. 2024 Our success has come from providing individualized financial solutions, putting a high value on client pleasure and leveraging data insights to further develop and fortify connections. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 While many ice plunges advertise themselves as backyard-friendly, this is the only one professionally rated for outdoor use, featuring a robust military-grade exterior fortified with durable coatings to endure even the harshest environments. Variety Staff, Variety, 28 Mar. 2024 While all of these candidates have their own strengths and drawbacks, one thing is clear: Ultimately, no matter who is selected, their #1 priority will be to fortify the weakened safety culture and reassure airline customers, regulators, and the flying public that Boeing is once again trustworthy. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Fortune, 27 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fortify.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near fortify

Cite this Entry

“Fortify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


for·​ti·​fy ˈfȯrt-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce fortify (audio)
fortified; fortifying
: to make strong: as
: to strengthen by military defenses
fortify a town
: to give strength or endurance to
fortify the body against illness
a team fortified by the cheering crowd
: to add material to for strengthening or improving : enrich
fortify a soil with fertilizer
milk fortified with vitamin D
fortifier noun

More from Merriam-Webster on fortify

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