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

Almost 50 years later, Porquerolles remains a secluded sanctuary for birds and butterflies, peppered with a dozen stone fortresses and a pirate’s cove. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "This French Island Is the Nantucket of the Mediterranean," 16 Aug. 2018 Both men insisted on meeting in a non-descript guesthouse, rather than the official Ahmadi house of worship, a fortress-like building surrounded by high walls and guarded around the clock. Fox News, "Pakistan's Ahmadis fearful as leaders bow to extremists," 28 Sep. 2018 Here, within thick protective fortress walls made of limestone or sandstone or flint, the defenders could hole up for months. William Gurstelle, Popular Mechanics, "How to Storm a Castle," 11 Apr. 2019 Known as Pyrenees Castle, the fortress-style estate has been owned by Mr. Spector since 1998, property records show. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Crime Scene: Estate of Disgraced Music Producer Phil Spector Asks $5.5 Million," 8 Mar. 2019 Bennett’s streets teem with unaffiliated scrivers, thieves, and swords-for-hire, and the novel’s final act — a heist and confrontation — sees Sancia breaking into the fantasy equivalent of a smart fortress. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Foundryside is a cyberpunk adventure wrapped in an epic fantasy novel," 23 Dec. 2018 Inside, the stone walls play off of wood ceilings and floors, giving the space the dark, cozy vibe of an ancient fortress that was rediscovered and filled with modern fixtures and furniture. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Surprisingly cozy stone house marries old and new," 1 Aug. 2018 Cap Rocat in Mallorca, Spain, is a peaceful hub in an old military fortress whose shooting pads have been converted into sleeping quarters with an infinity pool overlooking the Palma bay. Carmen Rosy Hall, Vogue, "These Are the World’s Sexiest Bedrooms, According to Two Globe-Trotters Who Would Know," 14 Nov. 2018 Sprawling gardens and lush palms lead to two beaches tucked away under the watchful eye of Fort du Langoustier, a stunning stone fortress perched nearby. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "This French Island Is the Nantucket of the Mediterranean," 16 Aug. 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

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fortress

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

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More Definitions for fortress



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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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).


a strong desire or propensity

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