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Early 14 c., from Old French forteresce, forteresse, forterece (“strong place, fortification”), variant of fortelesse, from Medieval Latin fortalitia, from Latin fortis (“strong”) (see fort) + -itia, added to adjectives to form nouns of quality or condition. French -ess, from Latin -itia is also in words such as duress, largesse and riches. For change of medial -l- to -r- in Old French, compare orne (“elm”) from ulmus; chartre from cartula and chapitre from capitulum. First attested in the from 12th century.
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈfoɹ.tɹɪs/, /ˈfoɹ.tɹəs/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈfɔː.tɹəs/
Audio (US) (file)
- Hyphenation: fort‧ress
- (without the horse–hoarse merger, rhotic) IPA(key): /ˈfɔ(ː)ɹ.tɹəs/
fortress (plural fortresses)
- A fortified place; a large and permanent fortification, sometimes including a town; for example a fort, a castle; a stronghold; a place of defense or security.
- 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 160:
- Like the Mesolithic age of 10,000-8000 B.C., the period 6000-4000 B.C. seems to be one of the fall of fortresses and the rise of pastoral nomadism.
- (chess) A position that, if obtained by the weaker side, will prevent penetration by the opposing side, generally achieving a draw.
fortress (third-person singular simple present fortresses, present participle fortressing, simple past and past participle fortressed)
- (transitive) To furnish with a fortress or with fortresses; to guard, to fortify.
- 1594, William Shakespeare, Lucrece (First Quarto), London: […] Richard Field, for Iohn Harrison, […], →OCLC:
- Honour and Beautie in the owners armes, / Are weaklie fortreſt from a world of harmes.
- English terms derived from Old French
- English terms derived from Medieval Latin
- English terms derived from Latin
- English 2-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
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- English lemmas
- English nouns
- English countable nouns
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- English verbs
- English transitive verbs
- English terms suffixed with -ess