for·​tress | \ ˈfȯr-trəs How to pronounce fortress (audio) \

Definition of fortress

: a fortified place : stronghold especially : a large and permanent fortification sometimes including a town

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Other Words from fortress

fortresslike \ ˈfȯr-​trəs-​līk How to pronounce fortresslike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of fortress in a Sentence

the boys built a snow fortress and then challenged the neighborhood kids to an in-your-face snowball fight
Recent Examples on the Web Kate also discovers the caverns behind cousin Bruce's dusty bookshelves, a techno-fortress wimpily guarded by Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson), the son of Lucius Fox, who was Wayne's business manager. Hank Stuever, Houston Chronicle, "CW does wrong by Batwoman and Nancy Drew," 4 Oct. 2019 Step inside the imposing walls of the hilltop Jakar Dzong—a fortress monastery and seat of government for Bhutan’s royal dynasty. National Geographic, "Bhutan Expedition: Journey to the Last Himalayan Kingdom," 20 Sep. 2019 No presidential contest awards more delegates than the state of California, the Democratic fortress that is home to 1-in-8 Americans. Michael R. Blood,, "Snubbing Iowa, Bloomberg charts his own path in 2020 contest," 3 Feb. 2020 Camulodunum had been the main Roman military base until A.D. 50, when the fortress was replaced by a Roman colony—a town with houses, public buildings, and industrial premises, frequented by traders. Richard Hingley, National Geographic, "Big, bad Boudica united thousands of ancient Britons against Rome," 22 Oct. 2019 And that sounded like the kernel of a story to me: a science facility built like a fortress against hurricanes was under attacked from climate change on a separate front. John Schwartz, New York Times, "One Thing You Can Do: Help to Preserve Forests," 8 Jan. 2020 Their brick fortress was now a prison stocked with explosives. Suzanne Sataline, Quartz, "How one fighter made his escape from the worst battle of Hong Kong’s protests," 30 Nov. 2019 The British victory culminated in the emperor’s suicide and the destruction of his fortress. Ciku Kimeria, Quartz Africa, "The battle to get Europe to return thousands of Africa’s stolen artifacts is getting complicated," 29 Nov. 2019 The fortress, which is nearly 1,000 years old, is infamous as a former prison and site of execution for those found guilty of treason. Fox News, "500-year-old skeletons of a woman and child discovered in the Tower of London," 23 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fortress.' 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 fortress

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fortress

Middle English forteresse, from Anglo-French fortelesce, forteresse, from Medieval Latin fortalitia, from Latin fortis strong

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Time Traveler for fortress

Time Traveler

The first known use of fortress was in the 14th century

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Statistics for fortress

Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fortress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for fortress


How to pronounce fortress (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fortress

: a place that is protected against attack : a fortified place


for·​tress | \ ˈfȯr-trəs How to pronounce fortress (audio) \

Kids Definition of fortress

: a place that is protected against attack

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