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 Tower has served as fortress, palace, prison, home of the Royal Mint and Royal Armory, and the storehouse of the crown jewels. William Booth, The Seattle Times, "The secrets of the royal ravenmaster at the Tower of London," 26 Oct. 2018 Now, Laurie lives in a fortress-style compound, shooting at mannequins all day and self-medicating with alcohol. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Halloween Is More Than a Horror Movie—It's a Tribute to Mothers and Daughters," 20 Oct. 2018 Now, Laurie lives as a hermit in a house in the woods that she’s turned into a mini-fortress, equipped with a panic room and massive amounts of weaponry. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The new Halloween is a slasher movie with an actual message," 19 Oct. 2018 Originally created as a Viking fortress, this 13th-century castle (with additions in later centuries) has functioned as a prison, treasury, court of law, and royal residence. Amy Tara Koch, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Plan a Family Trip to Ireland," 12 July 2018 Print subscribers get a password for your existing account here And records recently released show Fadal had set booby traps at his two-story home and turned the top floor into a fortress with several weapons, according to investigators. Zeke Mccormack, San Antonio Express-News, "Suit filed against Seguin physician accused in double slaying," 3 May 2018 From its medieval fortress walls to its buzzing new luxury boutiques, this East-meets-West city offers something for everyone. Debra Kamin, New York Times, "36 Hours in Tbilisi," 7 June 2018 That movement appears to have had a effect even in the stubborn, opinionated fortress of Chicago, where Kelly’s concert was canceled. William Lee,, "R. Kelly's fall comes as Chicago, black women finally turn their back on star," 23 May 2018 The fortress, isolated on a small peninsula, can be easily secured. Fox News, "French President to host meetings in Riviera holiday retreat," 16 May 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

15 Nov 2018

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 \

Kids Definition of fortress

: a place that is protected against attack

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