"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[fawr-tris] /ˈfɔr trɪs/
a large fortified place; a fort or group of forts, often including a town; citadel.
any place of exceptional security; stronghold.
Origin of fortress
1300-50; Middle English forteresse < Old French < Vulgar Latin *fortaricia (compare Medieval Latin fortalitia), equivalent to Latin fort(is) strong + -ar-, formative of uncertain meaning +-icia -ice Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for fortress
  • fortress is one of the world's largest private equity and hedge fund managers.
  • Since capitalism has won everywhere, they tend to barricade themselves in some sort of mental fortress.
  • But there are plenty of congressmen who are anxious not to see their building turned into an inaccessible fortress.
  • Excavation revealed a giant limestone cavern beneath the fortress.
  • The set-top box has proven to be a closed and well-guarded fortress against a world of clouds and openness.
  • None of the three governments sees closer links as building a fortress.
  • German troops were quartered in the town medieval fortress.
  • It's a sprawling white fortress perched high above a seemingly infinite valley.
  • Behind my mountain fortress was a vast desert, with nothing but cactus and a few scraggly bushes as far as the eye could see.
  • The crumbling royal palace lies in the shadow of an old fortress.
British Dictionary definitions for fortress


a large fort or fortified town
a place or source of refuge or support
(transitive) to protect with or as if with a fortress
Word Origin
C13: from Old French forteresse, from Medieval Latin fortalitia, from Latin fortis strong
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for fortress

early 14c., from Old French forteresse "strong place" (12c.), variant of fortelesse, from Medieval Latin fortalitia, from Latin fortis "strong" (see fort) + English -ess, a fairly uncommon suffix (duress, largess being other examples), from Latin -itia, forming nouns of quality or condition.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for fortress

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fortress

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with fortress