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The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Fortress \For"tress\, n.; pl. Fortresses. [F. forteresse, OF. forteresce, fortelesce, LL. foralitia, fr. L. fortis strong. See Fort, and cf. Fortalice.] A fortified place; a large and permanent fortification, sometimes including a town; a fort; a castle; a stronghold; a place of defense or security. Syn: Fortress, Fortification, Castle, Citadel. Usage: A fortress is constructed for military purposes only, and is permanently garrisoned; a fortification is built to defend harbors, cities, etc.; a castle is a fortress of early times which was ordinarily a palatial dwelling; a citadel is the stronghold of a fortress or city, etc. [1913 Webster]