for·​tress ˈfȯr-trəs How to pronounce fortress (audio)
: a fortified place : stronghold
especially : a large and permanent fortification sometimes including a town
fortresslike 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 History buffs, meanwhile, will love exploring the island’s capital via colorful Spanish-colonial architecture and imposing, ancient fortresses like La Fortaleza and El Morro. Blane Bachelor, Condé Nast Traveler, 16 Aug. 2023 The couple – who got engaged in February 2022 — exchanged vows at La Fortaleza — a 22-acre estate in Mallorca, Spain built in the 1600s — on Sept. 3, with the ceremony overlooking the fortress' lower-terrace swimming pool. Jordan Greene, Peoplemag, 12 Sep. 2023 The fortress turned villa was built in 1628 and featured prominently in the BBC TV series The Night Manager. Alexandra MacOn, Vogue, 8 Sep. 2023 Fans can fight for Eternia in the Castle Grayskull fortress. Dina Kaur, The Arizona Republic, 8 Aug. 2023 Among travelers, its most famous sight is the labyrinthine City Palace complex, an ornate granite-and-marble waterfront fortress that’s practically a town unto itself. Lila Battis, Travel + Leisure, 11 July 2023 Naked afternoons with the man from the medieval city, its winding stone paths, double-walled fortress. Jim Whiteside, The Atlantic, 23 Aug. 2023 While there are still a few other fortresses, the only other SEC school that restricts press access in the preseason to the same degree is Kentucky. Michael Casagrande |, al, 22 Aug. 2023 Determined not to suffer Gorbachev’s fate, or worse, Chinese President Xi Jinping has spent his time in power building a fortress around China and himself. Michael Beckley, Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fortress.' 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 forteresse, from Anglo-French fortelesce, forteresse, from Medieval Latin fortalitia, from Latin fortis strong

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near fortress

Cite this Entry

“Fortress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


for·​tress ˈfȯr-trəs How to pronounce fortress (audio)
: a fortified place

More from Merriam-Webster on fortress

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