English edit

Etymology edit

From Late Middle English fortifien, fortfien (to strengthen (a castle, etc.) from attack; to strengthen (an army, etc.); to strengthen (a person), aid, support; to reinforce, support; to improve; to increase the efficacy of),[1] from Old French fortifier (modern French fortifier), from Late Latin fortificāre, the present active infinitive of fortificō (to strengthen, fortify), from Latin fortis (powerful, strong) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerǵʰ- (to ascend, rise up; to be elevated or up high) or *dʰerǵʰ- (to be firm; robust, strong)) + -ficō (suffix forming causative or factitive, or other verbs).[2]

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

fortify (third-person singular simple present fortifies, present participle fortifying, simple past and past participle fortified)

  1. (transitive)
    1. To give power, strength, or vigour to (oneself or someone, or to something); to strengthen.
      • 1562, William Bullein, “The Booke of Compoundes”, in Bulleins Bulwarke of Defence against All Sicknesse, Soarenesse, and Woundes that Doo Dayly Assaulte Mankinde: [], London: [] Thomas Marshe, [], published 1579, →OCLC, folio 15, verso:
        [I]t [“oleum de costo”] fortifyeth yͤ ſtomack and Lyuer, it keepeth the hayre from fallyng of, & the head from horeneſſe [hoaryness], it cauſeth good colour, and ſauour in all the body.
      • 1669, Robert Boyle, “Experiment XXXII. Shewing, that when the Pressure of the External Air is Taken off, tis Very Easie to Draw up the Sucker of a Syringe, though the Hole, at which the Air or Water should Succeed, be Stopp’d.”, in A Continuation of New Experiments Physico-Mechanical, Touching the Spring and Weight of the Air, and Their Effects. The I. Part. [], Oxford, Oxfordshire: [] Henry Hall, printer to the University, for Richard Davis, →OCLC, page 107:
        [] I preſum'd it vvill not be unvvelcome to Your Lordſhip, if I here fortifie the Speculations that have been or may be propos'd to explicate theſe things according to the Hypotheſis of the vveight of the Air, by vvhat vve tried to that purpoſe, among others, vvhen vve vvere making uſe of a Syringe in our Engine.
      • 1701, [Jonathan Swift], “Chapter I”, in A Discourse of the Contests and Dissensions between the Nobles and the Commons in Athens and Rome, with the Consequences They Had upon Both Those States, London: [] John Nutt [], →OCLC, page 8:
        [T]hey admitted three thouſand into a ſhare of the Government; and thus fortified, became the cruelleſt Tyranny upon Record.
      • 1711 July 30 (Gregorian calendar), [Joseph Addison], “THURSDAY, July 19, 1711”, in The Spectator, number 121; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, [], volume II, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, →OCLC, page 144:
        Nor must we here omit that great variety of arms with which Nature has differently fortified the bodies of several kinds of animals; such as claws, hoofs, horns, teeth, and tusks, a tail, a sting, a trunk, or a proboscis.
        The spelling has been modernized.
      • 1863, “Psalm CXXXVIII [Verse 3]”, in W[illiam] Kay, transl., The Psalms, Translated from the Hebrew, [], Calcutta, West Bengal: R. C. Lepage and Co., →OCLC, page 304:
        In the day I called, Thou [God] answeredst me; / Thou fortifiedst me with strength in my soul.
      • 1873 February, Émile Souvestre, “What One Learns Looking Out of a Window”, in A. W. C., transl., edited by [Roderick] Noble, The Cape Monthly Magazine, volume VI (New Series), Cape Town, Cape Colony: J. C. Juta, →OCLC, page 96:
        Thou [poverty] fortifiest the body, thou strengthenest the soul; and thanks to thee, this life to which the rich cling to as a rock, becomes as a skiff whose anchor death can part without awakening our despair.
    2. To support (one's or someone's opinion, statement, etc.) by producing evidence, etc.; to confirm, to corroborate.
      • 1528, Thomas More, “A Dialogue Concernynge Heresyes & Matters of Religion []. Chapter XXVI.”, in Wyllyam Rastell [i.e., William Rastell], editor, The Workes of Sir Thomas More Knyght, [], London: [] Iohn Cawod, Iohn Waly, and Richarde Tottell, published April 1557, →OCLC, book I, page 164, column 1:
        And vnto that texte he wold haue made you a gloſe, that his father and he were one not in ſubſtaunce but in will. And that gloſe he would haue fortified and made ſomewhat ſemely with an other worde of Chriſt, []
      • 1621, Thomas Fitzherbert, chapter VII, in The Obmutesce of F. T. to the Epphata of D. [Samuel] Collins. Or The Reply of F. T. to D. Collins His Defence of My Lord of Winchesters Answere to Cardinall [Robert] Bellarmines Apology. [], [Saint-Omer, France]: [English College Press], →OCLC, paragraph 44, pages 211–212:
        [I]t may ſerue for no ſmal iuſtification of the tranſlatour that he fortifyeth his tranſlation vvith the authority of ſuch an auncient manuſcript, vvritten aboue eleuen hundred yeares ago, []
      • 1850, R[alph] W[aldo] Emerson, “Plato; or, The Philosopher”, in Representative Men: Seven Lectures, Boston, Mass.: Phillips, Sampson and Company, [], page 58:
        If he made transcendental distinctions, he fortified himself by drawing all his illustrations from sources disdained by orators and polite conversers; from mares and puppies; from pitchers and soup-ladles; from cooks and criers; the shops of potters, horse-doctors, butchers, and fishmongers.
    3. To increase the nutritional value of (food) by adding ingredients, especially minerals or vitamins. [from mid 20th c.]
      Soy milk is often fortified with calcium.
      • 1979 July, “What’s in Cereals”, in Sidney Sulkin, editor, Changing Times: The Kiplinger Magazine, volume 33, number 7, Washington, D.C.: Austin H. Kiplinger, Kiplinger Washington Editors, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 47, column 1:
        Compare the nutrition information label of a regular ready-to-eat fortified cereal with that of a presweetened brand and you'll note that, although the sweetened one's sugar content is higher, the fortification is virtually identical.
        An adjective use.
    4. (figurative)
      1. To impart fortitude or moral strength to (someone or their determination, or something); to encourage.
        • c. 1580 (date written), Philippe Sidnei [i.e., Philip Sidney], “[The Second Booke] Chapter 4”, in Fulke Greville, Matthew Gwinne, and John Florio, editors, The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia [The New Arcadia], London: [] [John Windet] for William Ponsonbie, published 1590, →OCLC; republished in Albert Feuillerat, editor, The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia (Cambridge English Classics: The Complete Works of Sir Philip Sidney; I), Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: University Press, 1912, →OCLC, page 171:
          [H]er owne proofe taught her to know her mothers minde; which [] greatly fortified her desires, to see, that her mother had the like desires. And the more jealous her mother was, the more she thought the Jewell precious, which was with so many lookes garded.
        • 1691, John Ray, “To the Much Honoured and Truly Religious Lady, the Lady Letice Wendy of Wendy in Cambridgeshire”, in The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation. [], London: [] Samuel Smith, [], →OCLC:
          [] I had rather vvrite of you to others, to provoke them to imitate ſo excellent an Example, than to your Self, to encourage you in your Chriſtian Courſe, and to fortifie you in your Athletick Conflicts vvith the greateſt of temporal Evils, bodily Pain and Anguiſh; []
        • 1695, [John Locke], “§70”, in Some Thoughts Concerning Education. [], 3rd edition, London: [] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, [], →OCLC, pages 98–99:
          A young Man, before he leaves the ſhelter of his Father's Houſe and the guard of a Tutor, ſhould be fortified vvith Reſolution, and made acquainted vvith Men, to ſecure his Vertue; leſt he ſhould be led into ſome ruinous courſe, or fatal precipice, before he is ſufficiently acquainted vvith the Dangers of Converſation, and has Steadineſs enough not to yield to every Temptation.
        • 1751 September 21, Samuel Johnson, “No. 155. Tuesday, September 10. 1751 [Julian calendar].”, in The Rambler, volume VI, Edinburgh: [] Sands, Murray, and Cochran; sold by W. Gordon, C. Wright, J. Yair, [], published 1751, →OCLC, page 181:
          [E]very delay gives vice another opportunity of fortifying itſelf by habit, and the change of manners, though ſincerely intended and rationally planned, is referred to the time vvhen ſome craving paſſion ſhall be fully gratified, or ſome povverful allurement ceaſe its importunity.
        • 1762, David Hume, “[Henry VI.] Chapter XX.”, in The History of England, from the Invasion of Julius Cæsar to the Accession of Henry VII, volume II, London: [] A[ndrew] Millar, [], →OCLC, page 355:
          The princeſs fell immediately into cloſe connexions vvith the cardinal and his party, the dukes of Somerſet, Suffolk, and Buckingham; vvho, fortified by her povverful friendſhip, reſolved on the final ruin of the duke of Gloceſter.
        • a. 1795 (date written), Edward Gibbon, “Memoirs of My Life and Writings”, in John Lord Sheffield [i.e., John Baker Holroyd, 1st Earl of Sheffield], editor, Miscellaneous Works of Edward Gibbon, Esquire. [], volume I, London: [] A. Strahan, and T[homas] Cadell Jun. and W[illiam] Davies, (successors to Mr. [Thomas] Cadell), [], published 1796, →OCLC, page 146:
          I vvas not armed by Nature and education vvith the intrepid energy of mind and voice. [] Timidity vvas fortified by pride, and even the ſucceſs of my pen diſcouraged the trial of my voice.
        • 1815 February 24, [Walter Scott], chapter XIX, in Guy Mannering; or, The Astrologer. [], volume I, Edinburgh: [] James Ballantyne and Co. for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, []; and Archibald Constable and Co., [], →OCLC, page 302:
          So pride came to the aid of fancy, and both combined to fortify his resolution to buy the estate if possible.
        • 1864 May – 1865 November, Charles Dickens, “Tracking the Bird of Prey”, in Our Mutual Friend. [], volume I, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published 1865, →OCLC, book the first (The Cup and the Lip), page 123:
          Mr. Inspector, hastily fortifying himself with another glass, strolled out with a noiseless foot and an unoccupied countenance.
        • 1875, Matthew Arnold, “A Persian Passion Play”, in Essays in Criticism [], 3rd edition, London; Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Macmillan and Co. [], →OCLC, page 269:
          He pressed his friends to consult their safety by a timely flight; they unanimously refused to desert or survive their beloved master, and their courage was fortified by a fervent prayer and the assurance of paradise.
        • 1913, Rudyard Kipling, “[Egypt of the Magicians.] Dead Kings.”, in Letters of Travel (1892–1913), London: Macmillan and Co., [], published 1920, →OCLC, page 261:
          Even the sight of a very great king indeed, sarcophagused under electric light in a hall full of most fortifying pictures, does not hold him [a visitor to the Valley of the Kings, Egypt] too long.
          An adjective use.
        • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter XXI, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, →OCLC:
          "And do you realize that in a few shakes I've got to show up at dinner and have Mrs Cream being very, very kind to me? It hurts the pride of the Woosters, Jeeves." / "My advice, sir, would be to fortify yourself for the ordeal." / "How?" / "There are always cocktails, sir. Should I pour you another?" / "You should."
      2. To make (something) defensible against attack by hostile forces.
    5. (archaic) To make (something) structurally strong; to strengthen.
      • 1607, Edward Topsell, “Of the Lyon”, in The Historie of Fovre-footed Beastes. [], London: [] William Iaggard, →OCLC, page 478:
        The third manner of hunting is done vvith leſſer labour: that is, foure ſtrong men armed vvith ſhields, and fortified all ouer vvith thonges of leather, and hauing helmets vpon their heades, that onely their eyes, noſes, and lips may appeare, vvith the brandiſhing of their firebrands ruſtle in vpon the lyon lying in his den: []
      • 1697, Virgil, “The Fourth Book of the Georgics”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC, page 130, lines 256–257 and 262–263:
        If little things vvith great vve may compare, / Such are the Bees, and ſuch their native Care; / [] / To fortify the Combs, to build the VVall, / To prop the Ruins leſt the Fabrick fall: []
    6. (military)
      1. To increase the defences of (an army, soldiers, etc.), or put (it or them) in a defensive position.
        • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The Second Part [], 2nd edition, part 2, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, →OCLC; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire, London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act III, scene ii, signature G4, recto:
          Ile haue you learne to ſleepe vpon the ground, / March in your armor thorow watery fens, / [] / Then next, the way to fortifie your men, / In champion grounds, []
        • 1837, Washington Irving, chapter XI, in The Rocky Mountains: Or, Scenes, Incidents, and Adventures in the Far West; [], volume II, Philadelphia, Pa.: [Henry Charles] Carey, [Isaac] Lea, & Blanchard, →OCLC, page 120:
          They [] descended Snake river again, and encamped just above the American falls. Here they proceeded to fortify themselves, intending to remain here, and give their horses an opportunity to recruit their strength with good pasturage, until it should be time to set out for the annual rendezvous in Bear river valley.
      2. To secure and strengthen (a place, its walls, etc.) by installing fortifications or other military works. [from early 15th c.]
      3. (obsolete) To provide (a city, a fortress, an army, etc.) with equipment or soldiers.
        • 1725, [Daniel Defoe], “Part I”, in A New Voyage Round the World, by a Course Never Sailed before. [], London: [] A[rthur] Bettesworth, []; and W. Mears, [], →OCLC, page 29:
          At the ſame time, I fortified my ſelf vvith the French Captain, and the Supra Cargo, and the other Captain; []
    7. (winemaking) To add spirits to (wine) to increase the alcohol content. [from late 19th c.]
      Sherry is made by fortifying wine.
  2. (intransitive)
    1. (military) To install fortifications or other military works; also (sometimes figurative), to put up a defensive position.
    2. (obsolete) To become strong; to strengthen.
      • 1605, Francis Bacon, “The Second Booke”, in The Twoo Bookes of Francis Bacon. Of the Proficience and Aduancement of Learning, Diuine and Humane, London: [] [Thomas Purfoot and Thomas Creede] for Henrie Tomes, [], →OCLC, folio [82], recto:
        But the poets and vvriters of Hiſtories are the beſt Doctors of this knovvledge, vvhere vve may finde painted fourth vvith greate life, Hovv affections are kindled and incyted: and hovv pacified and reſtrained: and hovv againe Conteyned from Act, & furder degree: hovv they diſcloſe themſelues, hovv they vvork hovv they varye, hovv they gather and fortifie, hovv they are invvrapped one vvithin another, a[n]d hovve they doe fighte and encounter one vvith another, and other the like particularityes: []
      • 1658, [Nicolas de Bonnefons], “[The First Treatise.] Section III. Of Trees, and of the Choice which Ought to be Made of Them.”, in John Evelyn, transl., The French Gardiner: Instructing How to Cultivate All Sorts of Fruit-trees, and Herbs for the Garden: [], 2nd edition, London: [] J[ohn] M[artyn] for John Crooke, [], published 1669, →OCLC, page 28:
        From Peare-trees grafted upon the free-ſtock you ſhould cut off the dovvn-right root, that ſo the other roots may fortifie and extend themſelves all about to ſeeke the beſt mould.

Conjugation edit

Synonyms edit

Hyponyms edit

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ fortifīen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ Compare “fortify, v.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2023; “fortify, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading edit