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[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.
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 confused
fort, forte (see pronunciation note at forte)


fortified. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fort
  • We get satisfied investors with protection concepts fort hem and with adequate insurance solutions of our partners.
  • It is a play fort built among the trees, so let's split the difference and call it a tree fort.
  • If any of them were alive today, they would not be happy to see that fighting over everything has started inside the fort.
  • Max knew that a bunk bed was the perfect structure to use when building an indoor fort.
  • Two more unsuspecting adults infected with the joy of crawling through a cardboard fort with a band of life-size puppets.
  • The dutch expanded the fort thus creating a well old fortified harbour.
British Dictionary definitions for fort


a fortified enclosure, building, or position able to be defended against an enemy
(informal) hold the fort, to maintain or guard something temporarily
Word Origin
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
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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
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Related Abbreviations for fort


  1. fortification
  2. fortified
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with fort


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