strong·​hold ˈstrȯŋ-ˌhōld How to pronounce stronghold (audio)
: a fortified place
: a place of security or survival
one of the last strongholds of the ancient Gaelic languageGeorge Holmes
: a place dominated by a particular group or marked by a particular characteristic
a Republican stronghold
strongholds of snobberyLionel Trilling

Examples of stronghold in a Sentence

The area is a Republican stronghold. The rebels retreated to their mountain stronghold. the last stronghold of the endangered deer
Recent Examples on the Web Two hours south, St. Helena Island in Beaufort County, still a stronghold of Gullah Geechee culture, enacted a special zoning law in the late 1990s to protect its pristine marshlands and cultural landscape from gated communities and other Hilton Head-style resort developments. Patricia Leigh Brown, New York Times, 23 Nov. 2023 Israeli commentators said the military needs to show more evidence to support assertions that al-Shifa has been a Hamas stronghold for more than a decade. Sarah Dadouch, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2023 Those strongholds are facing the threat of destruction from weed invasion and a warmer, drier climate that increases the risk of wildfires — such as the 2020 Lake Pukaki fire. Rina Diane Caballar, Discover Magazine, 12 Nov. 2023 Today Israeli officials addressed the future of the Gaza Strip as the country's forces pushed into Gaza City after surrounding the Hamas stronghold. Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel plans to assume indefinite responsibility for the security of the enclave. WSJ, 8 Nov. 2023 Humpback chub, by contrast, have their stronghold deep in the Grand Canyon, some 75 miles downriver from the dam, where bass haven’t shown up—at least not yet. WIRED, 4 Nov. 2023 In all my years residing in strongholds of Roth fans (the Upper West Side, Brooklyn, Chicago), nobody has so much as acknowledged the existence of this book in my presence. Hannah Gold, Harper's Magazine, 3 Nov. 2023 Rural districts therefore are redder than ever, while urban districts are Democratic strongholds. Leah Askarinam, ABC News, 25 Oct. 2023 Seth Mays, executive director of the Republican Party of Arkansas, said the party is close to its peak strength and has pushed to challenge traditional Democratic strongholds in the Delta. Michael R. Wickline,, 15 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stronghold.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of stronghold was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near stronghold

Cite this Entry

“Stronghold.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


strong·​hold ˈstrȯŋ-ˌhōld How to pronounce stronghold (audio)

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