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 Incident Management Team 12 is overseeing the fire response, and the team is working to fortify bulldozer lines and hand crews on the eastern and northern edges of the fire, operations section chief John Chester said in an update posted to Facebook Tuesday morning. Camila Pedrosa, Sacramento Bee, 9 July 2024 After the Russian invasion in 2022, Biden was able to rally and fortify NATO in the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times, 28 June 2024 Trump was found guilty May 30 in a Manhattan courthouse that had been fortified to withstand a mob attack. Hannah Allam, Washington Post, 24 June 2024 Puig also fortified management ranks at the company, tapping Axel Keller, who had been chief executive officer of Jil Sander, as president. Miles Socha, WWD, 21 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for fortify 

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 24 Jul. 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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