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 From the field, those steep angles towering overhead are an easy reminder of how a rowdy home crowd can easily turn the place into a fortress. Kylie Volavongsa, Kansas City Star, 10 July 2024 The Bastille was a military fortress and prison that held gunpowder and other valuable supplies for the revolutionaries. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 8 July 2024 One room upstairs in the sandy-colored stone fortress attempts to recreate the living conditions that Joyce experienced during his brief six-day stay here in 1904. Megan Specia, New York Times, 27 June 2024 For the genre born in the 1980s, labyrinthine settings have long been Metroidvania’s defining feature, and Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown delivers a doozy: a mountaintop fortress in which time has gone haywire. Lewis Gordon, Vulture, 5 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for fortress 

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 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on fortress

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!