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[fas-uh n, fah-suh n] /ˈfæs ən, ˈfɑ sən/
verb (used with object)
to attach firmly or securely in place; fix securely to something else.
to make secure, as an article of dress with buttons, clasps, etc., or a door with a lock, bolt, etc.
to enclose securely, as a person or an animal (usually followed by in):
to fasten a monkey in a cage.
to attach, associate, or connect:
to fasten a nickname on someone.
to direct (the eyes, thoughts, etc.) intently:
to fasten one's eyes on a speaker.
verb (used without object)
to become fast, fixed, or firm.
to close firmly or securely; lock:
This clasp won't fasten.
to take a firm hold; seize (usually followed by on or upon):
to fasten on an idea.
to focus attention; concentrate (usually followed by on or upon):
His gaze fastened on the jewels.
Origin of fasten
before 900; Middle English fastenen, Old English fæstnian; cognate with Old Norse fastna to betroth; akin to fast1
Related forms
refasten, verb (used with object)
well-fastened, adjective
1. connect, link, hook, clasp, clinch, rivet, clamp, bind, tie, tether. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fastened
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They arrived at the gate without question or hindrance; but found it fastened.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • He took a long string from his pouch and fastened one end to an arrow.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Cusi Coyllur is discovered, fastened to a wall, and in a dying state.

    Apu Ollantay Anonymous
  • My carefully packed bags were carried out and fastened to the saddle.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • He rapidly reloaded his rifle, and fastened the pistols at his belt.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • He tried to shake it, but little came of that, for the gate was fastened firmly.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • He had fastened it down, when a loud noise and commotion was heard in the street.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • There was also a portrait of the Emperor William, mounted and fastened up with four pins.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • I had not my veil on, nor my rings, and my cameo belt was not fastened.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
British Dictionary definitions for fastened


to make or become fast or secure
to make or become attached or joined
to close or become closed by fixing firmly in place, locking, etc
(transitive; foll by in or up) to enclose or imprison
(transitive) usually foll by on. to cause (blame, a nickname, etc) to be attached (to); place (on) or impute (to)
usually foll by on or upon. to direct or be directed in a concentrated way; fix: he fastened his gaze on the girl
(intransitive) usually foll by on. take firm hold (of)
Derived Forms
fastener, noun
Word Origin
Old English fæstnian; related to Old Norse fastna to pledge, Old High German fastinōn to make fast; see fast1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fastened



Old English fæstnian "make fast, firm," also "ratify, betroth," from Proto-Germanic *fastinojanan (cf. Old Frisian festnia "to make firm, bind fast," Old Saxon fastnon, Old High German fastnion, Old Norse fastna "to pledge, betroth"), from *fastuz (see fast (adj.)). Related: Fastened; fastener; fastening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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