Is fortress higher/larger/moderner than stronghold? For example in history?

I found there is a same meaning of the two words.

Here in this game, fortress seems to be higher than stronghold in hierarchy.


1 Answer 1


It seems fortress and stronghold are synonyms, basically meaning a fortified place. Merriam Webster defines both stronghold and fortress and in fortress's definition stronghold is directly mentioned. So it seems they are same.

However, it seems stronghold never surpassed fortress in terms of popularity of usage:

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EDIT- Thanks to @snailboat for pointing out a significant usage of stronghold where stronghold holds a metaphorical sense that fortress does not. I am directly including the passage she mentioned from The New York Times.

According to recent census data, Mexicans, Dominicans and Ecuadoreans now make up a huge share of the foreign-born population. The area was once a Polish stronghold — hence the word “eagle” in many business names, an allusion to Poland’s coat of arms, said Jeff Richman, the Green-Wood Cemetery historian and a font of local lore.

Here "stronghold" does not only mean literally a defensive position or fort, but it means that Polish has been dominating the place for a long time due to their presence in a large number in that area and now other communities are taking bites out of Polish's dominance by populating the place.


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