Definitions

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

  • n. A fortified place, especially a large, permanent military stronghold that often includes a town.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fortified place; a large and permanent fortification, sometimes including a town; a fort; a castle; a stronghold; a place of defense or security.
  • v. To furnish with a fortress or with fortresses; to guard; to fortify.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fortified place; a large and permanent fortification, sometimes including a town; a fort; a castle; a stronghold; a place of defense or security.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a fortress or with fortresses; to guard; to fortify.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To furnish with a fortress; defend by or as by a fortress; guard; fortify.
  • n. A fortified town or position; a fort; a castle; a stronghold; hence, any place of defense or security.

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

  • n. a fortified defensive structure

Etymologies

Middle English forteress, from Old French, from Medieval Latin fortalitia, from Latin fortis, strong; see bhergh-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French forteresce, from Medieval Latin (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • By far the most remarkable sight in the fortress is the late works performed by that little enterprizing adventurous animal calld Man.

    Letter 290

  • “Yes, the Forerunners built this place, what they called a fortress world, in order to —”

    The Flood

  • This fortress is as ancient as the town, said to have been built about the middle of the twelfth century, and is situated on an elevation at the foot of which flows the Moskva, but there is nothing remarkable in the style excepting its antiquity.

    Memoirs of Madame Vigée Lebrun

  • At last Linton, leaving Bowse in charge of what he called the fortress, proceeded with Raby and Mitchell, carrying the remainder of the water to aid those who either could not or would not move.

    The Pirate of the Mediterranean A Tale of the Sea

  • This combined novel and treatise traces the history of an imaginary French fortress from the 4th Century B.C. through the Napoleonic Wars, featuring detailed accounts of seven sieges.

    Stromata Blog:

  • DAMON (voice-over): The panic and chaos painfully evident in these images as the cameraman tries to make this way through the thick smoke and debris, a suicide bomb attack, as formidable in its audacity as it was in effectiveness, striking at the very pillar of Iraq fledgling democracy, the parliament, penetrating the often dubbed fortress Baghdad, the heavily fortified green zone.

    CNN Transcript Apr 12, 2007

  • The instant the commander knew what was required, he bade six of the knights embark with Gervaise in a boat moored behind the tower, and row up the harbour to the spot where the shipping was all massed together, protected by the high ground of the fortress from the Turkish fire.

    A Knight of the White Cross : a tale of the siege of Rhodes

  • Importantly, Mr. P.ulson played tough with even supposedly "fortress" - like institutions such as J.P. Morgan Chase.

    Tough Terms Are Right Call

  • "We have been busy building what we would like to describe as a fortress of a financial institution - a fortress which is underpinned by strong capital, strong liquidity, strong management, strong and robust governance and a highly motivated, highly competent and highly committed staff," he is reported as telling an investors 'briefing earlier this month.

    JamaicaObserver.com | Lead Stories

  • That circle of rocks we called our fortress? "she asked.

    What Dreams May Come

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