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  1. the act of fortifying or strengthening.
  2. something that fortifies or protects.
  3. the art or science of constructing defensive military works.
  4. Often fortifications. military works constructed for the purpose of strengthening a position; a fort: Supposedly impregnable, the fortifications were quickly overrun.
  5. a strengthening or improvement, as by addition of or intensification with another ingredient: the fortification of milk with vitamin D; the fortification of wine with alcohol.
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Origin of fortification

1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin fortificātiōn- (stem of fortificātiō), equivalent to fortificāt(us) fortified (see fortify, -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsnon·for·ti·fi·ca·tion, nounre·for·ti·fi·ca·tion, noun

Synonyms for fortification

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for fortification

barricade, reinforcement, fortress, citadel, wall, defense, fastness, support, bastion, battlement, barrier, buffer, consolidation, protection, outpost, fort, stronghold, parapet, bulwark, keep

Examples from the Web for fortification

Contemporary Examples of fortification

Historical Examples of fortification

  • For what was to come he required the fortification of dinner.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport

    Robert Neilson Stephens

  • It was an enormous labor to construct this fortification in the dead of winter.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

  • Instruction of the British farmer begins with the fortification of his will by confidence.

    Another Sheaf

    John Galsworthy

  • The palace is extensive, paled round with a sort of a fortification.

  • He purchased and studied works on fortification and military strategy.

    The Book-Hunter

    John Hill Burton

British Dictionary definitions for fortification


  1. the act, art, or science of fortifying or strengthening
    1. a wall, mound, etc, used to fortify a place
    2. such works collectively
  2. any place that can be militarily defended
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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 fortification


early 15c., "strengthening," also "defensive earthworks, tower" (mid-15c.), from Middle French fortification "strengthening, fortification," from Late Latin fortificationem (nominative fortificatio), noun of action from past participle stem of fortificare (see fortify).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper