for·tress | \ ˈfȯr-trəs \

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 \ 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

The list includes an 18th century fortress on a tiny Brittany island, the home of writer Aime Cesaire in the Caribbean, a 12th century Burgundy castle and a Roman aqueduct in eastern France. Fox News, "France launches lottery to help restore chateaux, monuments," 1 June 2018 Although Vollmann and his radiation oncologist wife live in a two-story house in a tony neighborhood, the author spends days and sometimes a week at a time at this fortress of solitude when immersed in projects, which is always. Allen Pierleoni,, "William T. Vollmann turns his mammoth talents to climate change," 11 May 2018 Cascais, a coastal resort town about 20 miles west of Lisbon, is a former royal retreat complete with a 15th century fortress turned palace, a busy marina, spotless streets and a moderate year-round climate., "Beat the retiree crowds to these 5 places abroad (NerdWallet)," 29 Apr. 2018 In 1868, some 13,000 British and Indian troops stormed the fortress of Ethiopian emperor Tewodros II, who had seized several European hostages amid a breakdown of relations with the British government. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "London Museum Says It’s Willing to Return Looted Ethiopian Artifacts on Long-Term Loan," 9 Apr. 2018 The Thorns have created a fortress at Providence Park over the last two seasons, posting an 18-2-2 record at home since Parsons took over as head coach in 2016. Jamie Goldberg,, "Portland Thorns ready for first home game as defending NWSL Champions," 12 Apr. 2018 Originally built in the 15th century, the castle retains its stoney facade and fortress wall. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Claim a 15th-century Scottish castle for $5.1M," 28 June 2018 The secrets are hidden behind fortified walls in cities across the United States, inside towering, windowless skyscrapers and fortress-like concrete structures that were built to withstand earthquakes and even nuclear attack. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: A poll commissioned by Bush and Biden shows Americans losing confidence in democracy," 26 June 2018 Earlier in the day, singer Phil Collins, who has donated his collection of artifacts to the Alamo, was in San Antonio for unveiling of bronze models depicting the evolution of the mission and military fortress over more than a century. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Meeting on Alamo plan turns heated," 19 June 2018

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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Statistics for fortress

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for fortress

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

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English Language Learners Definition of fortress

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


for·tress | \ ˈfȯr-trəs \

Kids Definition of fortress

: a place that is protected against attack

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Comments on fortress

What made you want to look up fortress? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characteristic trappings or dress

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