[ fawrt, fohrt ]
/ fɔrt, foʊrt /


a strong or fortified place occupied by troops and usually surrounded by walls, ditches, and other defensive works; a fortress; fortification.
any permanent army post.
(formerly) a trading post.

Nearby words

  1. forstner bit,
  2. forswear,
  3. forsworn,
  4. forsyth,
  5. forsythia,
  6. fort belvoir,
  7. fort benjamin harrison,
  8. fort benning,
  9. fort bliss,
  10. fort boise


    hold the fort,
    1. to defend one's position against attack or criticism.
    2. to maintain the existing state of affairs.

Origin of fort

1550–60; < Middle French, noun use of adj. fort strong < Latin fortis

Can be confusedfort forte (see pronunciation note at forte1)


fortified. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fort

British Dictionary definitions for fort


/ (fɔːt) /


a fortified enclosure, building, or position able to be defended against an enemy
hold the fort informal to maintain or guard something temporarily

Word Origin for fort

C15: from Old French, from fort (adj) strong, from Latin fortis

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fort



mid-15c., "fortified place, stronghold," from Middle French fort, from noun use in Old French of fort (adj.) "strong, fortified" (10c.), from Latin fortis "strong, mighty, firm, steadfast," from Old Latin forctus, possibly from PIE root *bheregh- "high, elevated," with derivatives referring to hills and hill-forts (cf. Sanskrit brmhati "strengthens, elevates," Old High German berg "hill;" see barrow (n.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with fort


see hold the fort.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.