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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fatten
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He began to joke, and told his brother that he would undertake to fatten him.

  • But the principal use to which we put them is to fatten our pigs.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
  • Are men who have these institutions only to eat and fatten like beasts?

    Laws Plato
  • As for me, I am over-young to break my neck and be left on the mountain-side to fatten crows.

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
  • fatten them up well, and the foreigners will give me good prices.'

    The Little Girl Lost Eleanor Raper
  • If I cannot share the bed of roses, I can at least fatten on the smell.

    Garrison's Finish W. B. M. Ferguson
  • Quite convinced that I haven't hidden her away to fatten for my breakfast?

    Mary Rose of Mifflin

    Frances R. Sterrett
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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