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

Other Words from fortress

fortresslike \ ˈfȯr-​trəs-​līk How to pronounce fortress (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 After Communist Party officials initially downplayed the virus in early 2020, Mr. Xi built China into an epidemiological fortress, stifling infections and protecting the economy while the United States suffered nearly one million Covid deaths. Chris Buckley, New York Times, 1 May 2022 Standard tours are anything but, dropping anchor to view an underwater city, swim in a pirate's cave and explore an ancient fortress. Lisa Morrow, CNN, 25 Apr. 2022 Behind a fortress wall and razor wire and a few feet away from California’s death row, students at one of the country’s most unique colleges discuss the 9/11 attacks and issues of morality, identity, and nationalism. Olga R. Rodriguez, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Apr. 2022 For more history, climb to higher ground to reach Fort MacArthur, a U.S. Army fortress that guarded the Los Angeles port area from 1914 through the early 1970s. Washington Post, 13 Apr. 2022 By nature, any animal protein is very porous, and searing meat will never form an impenetrable fortress around the outside where no moisture can escape. Jeffrey Gardner, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2022 The more countries that coöperated, the more comprehensive the sanction—if Moscow could simply sell its assets to German, Swiss, or Japanese banks, a U.S. embargo on Putin’s foreign-exchange fortress would lose much of its impact. The New Yorker, 25 Mar. 2022 But best of all is Calcifer—the sassy sentient fire fueling Howl’s magical fortress—gobbling up the egg shells, his flame. Esra Erol, Bon Appétit, 24 Mar. 2022 Forty-five years later, a fortress named Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose was constructed to protect the town from English infiltration. John Mccarthy, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near fortress



fort royal

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Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fortress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for fortress


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

Kids Definition of fortress

: a place that is protected against attack

More from Merriam-Webster on fortress

Nglish: Translation of fortress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fortress for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fortress


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