9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[fawr-tuh-fahy] /ˈfɔr təˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), fortified, fortifying.
to protect or strengthen against attack; surround or provide with defensive military works.
to furnish with a means of resisting force or standing strain or wear:
to fortify cotton with nylon.
to make strong; impart strength or vigor to:
to fortify oneself with a good breakfast.
to increase the effectiveness of, as by additional ingredients:
to fortify a diet with vitamins; to fortify a lotion with lanolin.
to strengthen mentally or morally:
to be fortified by religious faith.
to confirm or corroborate:
to fortify an accusation with facts.
Nutrition. to add one or more ingredients to (a food) to increase its nutritional content.
to add alcohol to (wine or the like).
verb (used without object), fortified, fortifying.
to set up defensive works; erect fortifications.
Origin of fortify
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English fortifien < Middle French fortifier < Late Latin fortificāre, equivalent to Latin forti(s) strong + -ficāre -fy
Related forms
fortifiable, adjective
fortifier, noun
fortifyingly, adverb
nonfortifiable, adjective
nonfortifying, adjective
refortify, verb (used with object), refortified, refortifying.
underfortify, verb (used with object), underfortified, underfortifying.
unfortifiable, adjective
unfortified, adjective
well-fortified, adjective
3. strengthen, reinforce. 5. hearten, embolden. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fortify
  • The beams fortify the skull and beak, making them extremely strong for up and down jabbing movements.
  • Supporters say the project would reverse the effects of erosion and fortify the barrier island.
  • Then lemon juice and peel, to detoxify the body and fortify the liver.
  • fortify yourself with a bourbon on the rocks, then ask any server for ghost stories and a quick, informal tour.
  • And if you doze off in a noisy environment, the cacophony might conceivably fortify recollections you might prefer to forget.
  • Current efforts to fortify the city's levees won't be enough.
  • They order construction of new cells to thicken and fortify its walls.
  • In one sort, scholars use wisdom, learning and high ideals to fortify the citadel of truth.
  • Metallic iron powder is added to foods to fortify them.
  • You'll also be able to fortify predetermined spots on the map.
British Dictionary definitions for fortify


verb (mainly transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
(also intransitive) to make (a place) defensible, as by building walls, digging trenches, etc
to strengthen physically, mentally, or morally
to strengthen, support, or reinforce (a garment, structure, etc)
to add spirits or alcohol to (wine), in order to produce sherry, port, etc
to increase the nutritious value of (a food), as by adding vitamins and minerals
to support or confirm: to fortify an argument with facts
Derived Forms
fortifiable, adjective
fortifier, noun
fortifyingly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Old French fortifier, from Late Latin fortificāre, from Latin fortis strong + facere to make
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 fortify

early 15c., "increase efficacy" (of medicine); mid-15c., "provide (a town) with walls and defenses," from Old French fortifiier (14c.) "to fortify, strengthen," from Late Latin fortificare "to strengthen, make strong," from Latin fortis "strong" (see fort) + facere "to make" (see factitious).

Sense of "to strengthen mentally or morally" is from late 15c. Meaning "add liquor or alcohol" is from 1880. Related: Fortified; fortifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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