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From Old French, from Latin fortitūdō (bravery, strength), from fortis (brave, strong).



fortitude (countable and uncountable, plural fortitudes)

  1. Mental or emotional strength that enables courage in the face of adversity.
    • 1612, William Shakespeare, King Henry VIII, act 3, scene 2:
      . . . I am able now, methinks,
      Out of a fortitude of soul I feel,
      To endure more miseries.
    • c. 1794, Jane Austen, Lady Susan, chapter 1:
      I shall soon have need for all my fortitude, as I am on the point of separation from my own daughter.
    • 1906, Joseph Conrad, The Mirror of the Sea, chapter 21:
      She may be saved by your efforts, by your resource and fortitude bearing up against the heavy weight of guilt and failure.
    • 2012 Jan. 30, Fareed Zakaria, "The Strategist," Time:
      Mitt Romney . . . charges that Obama is an appeaser who apologizes for America, lacks fortitude and is "tentative, indecisive, timid and nuanced."
  2. (archaic) Physical strength.
    • 1604, William Shakespeare, Othello, act 1, scene 3:
      DUKE OF VENICE: The Turk with a most mighty preparation makes for
      Cyprus. Othello, the fortitude of the place is best
      known to you.






fortitude f (plural fortitudes)

  1. fortitude

Further reading[edit]