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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 fattening
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But, say, what was this proposition of yours about fattening the bank roll?

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
  • "It looks as though Lebigre were fattening him up for sale," she reflected.

  • This is indicative of fattening, perhaps, beyond all other qualifications.

    Cattle and Their Diseases Robert Jennings
  • "It is only the people you are fattening in the dungeon," said the wife.

    Favorite Fairy Tales Logan Marshall
  • It is the most concentrated and fattening food to be bought.

  • Jake said he might as well take the wagon and haul to market the pig he had been fattening.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
  • I am glad to hear that you are fattening, and I hope you will reach 125 lbs.

    Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee (His Son) Captain Robert E. Lee
  • Butter or even cream are quite as fattening and much more digestible.

    Papers on Health John Kirk
British Dictionary definitions for fattening


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 fattening

"that makes fat," 1690s, present participle adjective from fatten. Earlier word was fatting (1530s).



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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