This is a passage from a novel:

Georgie shook her head and reached for the black desk phone that sat between her and Seth. "This is Georgie".
Her mom sighed. "I've been on hold so long. I thought that girl forgot about me."
Nope. What's up?"
I just called to see how you were doing." Her mom sounded concerned. (Her mom liked to sound concerned.)
"I'm fine," Georgie said.
"Well..." Another sigh. A fortified sigh.

What is a fortified sigh? I looked up fortify in the dictionaries, but none of the definitions seems to be applicable to the context.

  • "A stronger (emotionally) sigh." fortify - "1. to make strong or stronger; strengthen physically, emotionally, etc."
    – user3169
    Oct 2, 2015 at 2:37
  • It would be helpful if you add some description explaining what you are looking for, that you did not find in a dictionary, as this person did - the meaning of “modelling”.
    – user3169
    Oct 2, 2015 at 3:02

1 Answer 1


Fortified in this context seems to be used in a somewhat figurative or nontraditional manner. It seems to imply that the second sigh was stronger or expressed more resolve than the the first. Unfortunately, it seems hard to tell what the implication is. Is the sigh merely firmer, more committed? Is it being used as a metaphor, evoking a sigh that will be hard to dismiss (like a fortified location)? What is clear is that the sigh is expressing a stronger emotion (in context, perhaps worry), or expressing an emotion more firmly.

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