Definitions

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

  • n. Strength of mind that allows one to endure pain or adversity with courage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Mental or emotional strength that enables courage in the face of adversity.
  • n. Physical strength.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Power to resist attack; strength; firmness.
  • n. That strength or firmness of mind which enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage, or to bear pain or adversity without murmuring, depression, or despondency; passive courage; resolute endurance; firmness in confronting or bearing up against danger or enduring trouble.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Strength; force; power to attack or to resist attack.
  • n. Mental power of endurance; patient courage under affliction, privation, or temptation; firmness in confronting danger, hardship, or suffering.
  • n. In astrology, any circumstance which strengthens the effect of a planet, or of the part of fortune; a dignity; especially, an accidental dignity, such as being in the ascendant, in the seventh, fourth, eleventh, second, fifth, ninth, or third house, being in hayz, having direct motion, having swift motion, being free from combustion, being in cazimi, etc.
  • n. Synonyms Endurance, etc. (see patience), resolution, resoluteness, nerve.

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

  • n. strength of mind that enables one to endure adversity with courage

Etymologies

Middle English, from Latin fortitūdō, from fortis, strong; see bhergh-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French, from Latin fortitūdō ("bravery, strength"), from fortis ("brave, strong"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That internal fortitude is one of the most powerful things you can possess as a writer.

    Writer Unboxed » Blog Archive » The Only Way to Know If You’ll Be a Successful Writer

  • Finally a state legislator with some intestinal fortitude is attempting to repeal the requirement that one has to obtain a pistol permit from the county sheriff before one may buy a handgun (or crossbow).

    Should Felons Hunt?

  • I hope that our Farmers understand that out in the country as a whole, we are with them and that our admiration for their fortitude is boundless.

    Who Would You Choose to Go to War With?

  • I thought I should have fainted; but a torrent of tears recalled the ebbing current of my heart, and I grew proud in fortitude, though humbled in self-love.

    Memoirs of Mary Robinson

  • Each now, separately, and with nearly equal difficulty, strove to attain fortitude to seek an explanation.

    Camilla: or, A Picture of Youth

  • Strengthened thus in fortitude, she descended chearfully to supper, where Mr. Tyrold, though he saw with pain that her spirits were constrained, felt the fondest satisfaction in the virtue of her exertion.

    Camilla: or, A Picture of Youth

  • Pursue me, persecute me no longer, but suffer me to abide by myself, till my fortitude is better strengthened to meet my destiny! '

    Camilla: or, A Picture of Youth

  • The mercenaries of the caliph were dismayed at the approach of an enemy who neither asked nor accepted quarter; and the difference between, them in fortitude and patience, is expressive of the change which three centuries of prosperity had effected in the character of the Arabians.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • They showed what we call fortitude, and bravery and fortitude go hand in hand. "

    Holiday Stories for Young People

  • He pursues the pleasures or the eccentricities of his imagination, with an avidity insatiable: and he perpetually proves that human passions subjugate him to the degradations of human frailty; while woman, the weaker animal, she whose enjoyments are limited, whose education, knowledge, and actions are circumscribed by the potent rule of prejudice, she is expected to resist temptation; to be invincible in fortitude; strong in prescient and reflecting powers; subtle in the defence of her own honour; and forbearing under all the conflicts of the passions.

    Letter to the Women of England, on the Injustice of Mental Subordination

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  • WIZARD
    Well, you can't. As for you, my fine
    friend -- you're a victim of disorganized
    thinking. You are under the unfortunate
    delusion that simply because you run away
    from danger, you have no courage. You're
    confusing courage with wisdom. Back where
    I come from, we have men who are called
    heroes. Once a year, they take their
    fortitude out of mothballs and parade it
    down the main street of the city. And they
    have no more courage than you have. But!
    They have one thing that you haven't got!
    A medal! Therefore -- for meritorious....
    conduct, extraordinary valor, conspicuous
    bravery against wicked witches, I award you
    the Triple Cross.

    June 10, 2010

  • "I bought myself fifty hamburgers and I've only ten left," said Tom with fortitude.

    October 20, 2007