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

As the sun dips below the horizon one last time—not to rise again until spring—the icy seascape darkens, the temperatures plummet, and the sea ice swells into a brutal fortress, so thick that no icebreaker can penetrate it. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "Marooned: Researchers Will Freeze Their Ship into Arctic Ocean Ice for a Year," 17 Sep. 2019 The most obvious path was a constant competition between nations and individuals to see who could thrive in this new climate regime, with luckier places turning themselves into fortresses above the flood. Bill Mckibben, Time, "Hello From the Year 2050. We Avoided the Worst of Climate Change — But Everything Is Different," 12 Sep. 2019 Returning to London to face Leicester was a test; can turning the Bridge into a fortress save the season?, "10 Things We Learned From the First Month of the Premier League Season," 4 Sep. 2019 About the only thing better would be if the Patriots somehow missed the playoffs two years in a row and were forced to let all those cameras into the fortress. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Watching Detroit Lions squirm on 'Hard Knocks' is what we all deserved," 14 June 2019 But lidar scans reveal a clear function: The place was a fortress. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, "The Lost World of the Maya is Finally Emerging From the Jungle," 7 Feb. 2019 Music and history will mix at concerts on the roof and in a candlelit room of the 3-story fortress, a national historic site. Anna Bauman,, "Pianos bring creativity, inspiration to San Francisco’s Fort Point," 23 Aug. 2019 The more than 900-year-old castle and fortress is used by the sovereign as a weekend home and official place of business, according to the royals' official website. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Reportedly Wanted to Live in Windsor Castle, but the Queen Had Other Ideas," 20 Aug. 2019 This was a little bit north of Fullerton Avenue, where the Buddha heads — big, white sculptures half-submerged in dirt — had been resting peacefully in the company of trees that seemed as sturdy as fortresses. Mary Schmich,, "Column: We love our Chicago thunderstorms, except when they take our trees," 16 Aug. 2019

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 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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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