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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Any delay, they believed, allowed the enemy to withdraw or wait out the storm in his field fortifications.
▪ At this time fortifications consisted mainly of earth banks and wooden palisades.
▪ Glastonbury Tor and Avebury Where later societies put great resources into fortification the Neolithic people built monuments.
▪ If there are no serious problems, the level of fortification would automatically increase.
▪ Large sums might also be required for fortifications, especially from 1588 onwards.
▪ Many of the small towns were supplied with fortifications during their lifetime.
▪ The sides of the arch were destroyed in the Middle Ages when it was incorporated in the fortifications.
▪ They are my defense, my fortification.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Fortification \For`ti*fi*ca"tion\, n. [L. fortificatio : cf. F. fortification.]

  1. The act of fortifying; the art or science of fortifying places in order to defend them against an enemy.

  2. That which fortifies; especially, a work or works erected to defend a place against attack; a fortified place; a fortress; a fort; a castle.

    Fortification agate, Scotch pebble.

    Syn: Fortress; citadel; bulwark. See Fortress.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 15c., "a strengthening," also "defensive earthworks; a tower" (mid-15c.), from Old French fortification "strengthening, fortification," from Late Latin fortificationem (nominative fortificatio) "a strengthening, fortifying," noun of action from past participle stem of fortificare "to make strong" (see fortify).


n. 1 The act of fortifying; the art or science of fortifying places to strengthen defence against an enemy. 2 That which fortifies; especially, a work or works erected to defend a place against attack; a fortified place; a fortress; a fort; a castle. 3 An increase in effectiveness, as by adding ingredients.

  1. n. defensive structure consisting of walls or mounds built around a stronghold to strengthen it [syn: munition]

  2. the art or science of strengthening defenses

  3. the addition of an ingredient for the purpose of enrichment (as the addition of alcohol to wine or the addition of vitamins to food)

Fortification (disambiguation)

A fortification is a military construction or building designed for defense in warfare.

Fortification may also refer to:

  • Food fortification, the process of adding micronutrients to food products
  • Fortification, New Zealand
  • Wine fortification, the addition of other forms of alcohol to wine
  • Addition of vitamins to food, like Breakfast cereals

Fortifications are military constructions or buildings designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and also used to solidify rule in a region during peace time. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs. The term is derived from the Latin fortis ("strong") and facere ("to make").

From very early history to modern times, walls have been a necessity for cities to survive in an ever changing world of invasion and conquest. Some settlements in the Indus Valley Civilization were the first small cities to be fortified. In ancient Greece, large stone walls had been built in Mycenaean Greece, such as the ancient site of Mycenae (famous for the huge stone blocks of its ' cyclopean' walls). A Greek Phrourion was a fortified collection of buildings used as a military garrison, and is the equivalent of the Roman castellum or English fortress. These construction mainly served the purpose of a watch tower, to guard certain roads, passes, and lands that might threaten the kingdom. Though smaller than a real fortress, they acted as a border guard rather than a real strongpoint to watch and maintain the border.

The art of setting out a military camp or constructing a fortification traditionally has been called " castramentation" since the time of the Roman legions. Fortification is usually divided into two branches: permanent fortification and field fortification. There is also an intermediate branch known as semi-permanent fortification. Castles are fortifications which are regarded as being distinct from the generic fort or fortress in that they are a residence of a monarch or noble and command a specific defensive territory.

Roman forts and hill forts were the main antecedents of castles in Europe, which emerged in the 9th century in the Carolingian Empire.The Early Middle Ages saw the creation of some towns built around castles. Medieval-style fortifications were largely made obsolete by the arrival of cannons in the 14th century. Fortifications in the age of black powder evolved into much lower structures with greater use of ditches and earth ramparts that would absorb and disperse the energy of cannon fire. Walls exposed to direct cannon fire were very vulnerable, so were sunk into ditches fronted by earth slopes.

The arrival of explosive shells in the 19th century led to yet another stage in the evolution of fortification. Star forts did not fare well against the effects of high explosive, and the intricate arrangements of bastions, flanking batteries and the carefully constructed lines of fire for the defending cannon could be rapidly disrupted by explosive shells. Steel-and- concrete fortifications were common during the 19th and early 20th centuries. However the advances in modern warfare since World War I have made large-scale fortifications obsolete in most situations.

Demilitarized zones along borders are arguably another type of fortification, although a passive kind, providing a buffer between potentially hostile militaries.

Usage examples of "fortification".

Zeus is fulfilled: the Achaeans are penned up in their fortifications, the first Achaean ship is fired.

Besides their arms, which the legionaries scarcely considered as an encumbrance, they were laden with their kitchen furniture, the instruments of fortification, and the provision of many days.

Surajah would both be at liberty next day, for Tippoo had that morning started for Bangalore, where a large number of men were at work, repairing the fortifications and removing all signs of the British occupation from the fort and palace.

We have the siege train at Bournemouth, some fortifications already are dug and prepared, and we can throw up more.

Upon his arrival there, he chose a very strong camp on the other side of the Oder, in order to cover the city of Breslau, to the fortifications of which he immediately added several new works.

He intercepted several parties of Carpi, and other Germans, who were hastening to share the victory of their countrymen, intrusted the passes of the mountains to officers of approved valor and fidelity, repaired and strengthened the fortifications of the Danube, and exerted his utmost vigilance to oppose either the progress or the retreat of the Goths.

Ralph Cottle that he needed fortification, and he drank a new foundation for his crumbling courage.

During this assault Duroc, who was in the trench, was wounded in the right thigh by the a splinter from a shell fired against the fortifications.

Those who rose to their feet again were hurled forward by the press of bodies still surging up the creek, and were trapped against the footwall of the fortifications.

If Gijon is become no longer a trade port but rather a naval basin, marshaling port, and embarkation facility, then there is scant need to defend it with land fortifications, not with the intelligence abroad in Europe that all of the larger ships of the navy of England either were destroyed fighting each other in the early days of the civil war that preceded the crusade or were scuttled to prevent capture by one or the other side years agone.

Stripped as the castillo now lay of the smaller-caliber, more accurate long gunsprobably by the present lord of Gijon, the grand duke, so that he could mount them on his heterogeneous fleetthe fortification could return nothing more than arquebus fire so long as the galleons stayed within the harbor basin.

On the thirteenth day of March a ship arrived from the West Indies, despatched by admiral Vernon, with an account of his having taken Porto Bello, on the isthmus of Darien, with six ships only, and demolished all the fortifications of the place.

Within this area lay all the vast Czech fortifications which hitherto had formed the most formidable defensive line in Europe, with the possible exception of the Maginot Line in France.

London had quite coolly requested that the head of the Resistance network for Caen, an engineer called Meslin, should furnish them with detailed information regarding the German fortifications in that area.

Anywhere below here and Multan, the Malwa now have fortifications all along the Indus.