Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To make strong, as:
  • transitive v. To strengthen and secure (a position) with fortifications.
  • transitive v. To reinforce by adding material.
  • transitive v. To impart physical strength or endurance to; invigorate.
  • transitive v. To give emotional, moral, or mental strength to; encourage: Prayer fortified us during our crisis.
  • transitive v. To strengthen or enrich (food, for example), as by adding vitamins.
  • intransitive v. To build fortifications.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To increase the defenses of.
  • v. To impart strength or vigor to.
  • v. To increase the effectiveness of, as by additional ingredients.
  • v. To strengthen mentally or morally.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To raise defensive works.
  • transitive v. To add strength to; to strengthen; to confirm; to furnish with power to resist attack.
  • transitive v. To strengthen and secure by forts or batteries, or by surrounding with a wall or ditch or other military works; to render defensible against an attack by hostile forces.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make strong; strengthen; increase the force of in any way; especially, to furnish with means of resistance.
  • Specifically, to surround with defensive works, with a view to resist the assaults of an enemy; strengthen and secure by walls, batteries, or other means of defense: render defensible against attack: as, to fortify a city, town, or harbor.
  • To raise strongholds or defensive works.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make strong or stronger
  • v. enclose by or as if by a fortification
  • v. add alcohol to (beverages)
  • v. add nutrients to
  • v. prepare oneself for a military confrontation

Etymologies

Middle English fortifien, from Old French fortifier, from Late Latin fortificāre, from Latin fortis, strong; see bhergh-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Mr. Watson, after many efforts to speak, said in a faultering voice, -- Consider we are christians: -- let that bless'd name fortify our souls.

    Barford Abbey

  • Try running fortify on a 2million loc app, you = will get frustrated, you will call fortify, their phone support will be in = effective, they will send someone out to help you, it will take 3 days requ = ire a million hacks to get around the jvm memory limits and will eventually =, hopefully, work.

    The Web Security Mailing List (WASC)

  • Try running fortify on a 2million loc app, you will get frustrated, you will call fortify, their phone support will be ineffective, they will send someone out to help you, it will take 3 days require a million hacks to get around the jvm memory limits and will eventually, hopefully, work.

    The Web Security Mailing List (WASC)

  • Faced with weak sales back in 2006, Burger King invested $3m to "fortify" its UK operation and a marketing push has since paid off.

    The Guardian World News

  • And it is quite easy to "fortify" your property if you live in an area with a yard.

    Alex Jones' Prison Planet.com

  • He encouraged owners to take measures to "fortify" their businesses with security measures, such as alarms.

    KOMO - News - Top Stories

  • There is widespread chatter that Mr. Chávez may replace key ministers in his cabinet in an attempt to fortify his government amid rumors of his flagging health and also to possibly groom a successor.

    Challenger for Venezuela Presidency Still Hopes to Face Chávez

  • The Persians had established seven garrison towns on the river to fortify their northern border against Scythian raids.

    Alexander the Great

  • Fortification, or military architecture, is no other thing than an art, which teaches men to fortify themselves . . . to the end the enemy may not be able to attack . . . without great loss of his men; and that the small number of soldiers which defend the place may be able to hold out for some time.

    George Washington’s First War

  • The Yca mico—a young man obviously elevated to the position because of the Death—cried, “We should march on Ylasi, great Sun Ruler, fortify it, and deprive the invader.”

    Fire The Sky

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