noun for·ti·tude \ˈfȯr-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of fortitude

  1. 1 :  strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage

  2. 2 obsolete :  strength

fortitude was our Word of the Day on 06/14/2008. Hear the podcast!

Examples of fortitude in a sentence

  1. … everyone in the family was succored by Elizabeth's fortitude and steadfastness. —Nicholas Fox Weber, The Clarks Of Cooperstown, 2007

  2. But now Frum, by having the fortitude to revisit that bizarre era, has half-persuaded me that the '70s, a partial negation of the '60s, in one way, were a partial confirmation of them in another. —Christopher Hitchens, Civilization, April/May 2000

  3. He learned that war was a hurly-burly of violence in which men prevailed through imagination and the fortitude to struggle on despite reverses. —Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie, 1988

  4. She has endured disappointments with fortitude and patience.

  5. it was only with the greatest fortitude that the Pilgrims were able to survive their first winter in Plymouth

Recent Examples of fortitude from the web

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Did You Know?

Fortitude comes from the Latin word fortis, meaning "strong," and in English it has always been used primarily to describe strength of mind. For a time, the word was also used to mean physical strength - Shakespeare used that sense in The First Part of King Henry the Sixth:

"Coward of France! How much he wrongs his fame
Despairing of his own arm's fortitude." But despite use by the Bard, that second sense languished and is now considered obsolete."

Origin and Etymology of fortitude

Middle English, from Latin fortitudin-, fortitudo, from fortis —see fortify

First Known Use: 12th century

FORTITUDE Defined for English Language Learners


noun for·ti·tude \ˈfȯr-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of fortitude for English Language Learners

  • : mental strength and courage that allows someone to face danger, pain, etc.

FORTITUDE Defined for Kids


noun for·ti·tude \ˈfȯr-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of fortitude for Students

  1. :  strength of mind that lets a person meet danger, pain, or hardship with courage

Seen and Heard

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capable of being understood in two ways

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