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[fat-n] /ˈfæt n/
verb (used with object)
to make fat.
to feed (animals) abundantly before slaughter.
to enrich:
to fatten the soil; to fatten one's pocketbook.
  1. Poker. to increase the number of chips in (a pot).
  2. Pinochle. to play a card that scores high on (a trick) expected to be taken by a partner.
verb (used without object)
to grow fat.
Origin of fatten
First recorded in 1545-55; fat + -en1
Related forms
fattenable, adjective
fattener, noun
overfatten, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fatten
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is, therefore, necessary to fatten a rig either alone, or with male pigs which have been operated upon.

    The Pig Sanders Spencer
  • fatten her up, straighten her teeth and—Talk about religious rationalization!

    Vigorish Gordon Randall Garrett
  • We let him make the laws, and fatten upon the prey he takes within their limits.

    Carmen Ariza Charles Francis Stocking
  • The best fruit to fatten is bananas, eaten slowly with cream and sugar.

  • He was the only human being I ever met with who had sufficient self-restraint and resolution to resist this proneness to fatten.

    Byron Richard Edgcumbe
  • She may cook him better dinners, and fatten him up a trifle.

    Dear Enemy Jean Webster
  • It will fatten some 4500 head of three-year-old cattle, which may be bought at 4, 8s.

British Dictionary definitions for fatten


to grow or cause to grow fat or fatter
(transitive) to cause (an animal or fowl) to become fat by feeding it
(transitive) to make fuller or richer
(transitive) to enrich (soil) by adding fertilizing agents
Derived Forms
fattenable, adjective
fattener, noun
fattening, adjective
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 fatten

1550s, from fat + -en (1). Related: Fattened. The earlier verb was simply fat (Old English fættian "to become fat, fatten"); e.g. fatted calf.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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