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[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.
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 fortifying
  • It plays the triggering role in fortifying the externalized world centered on the self-figure.
  • The military's taken plenty of big steps towards fortifying battlefields with robot armies.
  • In those three weeks, antibiotics may be fortifying the bacteria's resistance rather than curing the patient.
  • The words are given up as a post not to be defended in our poet, because he wanted the modern art of fortifying.
  • He rather sought in that misfortune an opportunity and motive for fortifying and strengthening himself.
  • The million euros he spent fortifying his villa did not endear him to taxpayers.
  • Similarly, iron deficiency can be tackled by fortifying flour with iron.
  • Which is to say that it's delicious, refreshing and surprisingly fortifying.
  • The more points and kills players earn, the more money they will gain toward fortifying their positions on the battlefield.
  • Musical prodigies grow up with lots of eyes on them, and under pressures that can be as easily crushing as fortifying.
British Dictionary definitions for fortifying


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 fortifying



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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