[ fast, fahst ]
/ fæst, fɑst /

adjective, fast·er, fast·est.

adverb, fast·er, fast·est.


a fastening for a door, window, or the like.

Nearby words

  1. fashoda incident,
  2. fasnacht,
  3. fassa,
  4. fassbinder,
  5. fassbinder, rainer werner,
  6. fast and furious,
  7. fast and loose,
  8. fast break,
  9. fast buck,
  10. fast casual


    play fast and loose. play(def 80).
    pull a fast one, Informal. to play an unfair trick; practice deceit: He tried to pull a fast one on us by switching the cards.

Origin of fast

before 900; Middle English; Old English fæst firm; cognate with Dutch vast, Old Norse fastr firm, German fest; akin to fast2

1, 2. fleet, speedy. See quick. 5. dissipated, dissolute, profligate, immoral; wild, prodigal. 8. secure, tight, immovable, firm. 9. inextricable. 13. faithful, steadfast. 14. enduring. 20. securely, fixedly, tenaciously. 22. recklessly, wildly, prodigally.

Can be confusedfast quick rapid swift (see synonym study at quick)


[ fast, fahst ]
/ fæst, fɑst /

verb (used without object)

to abstain from all food.
to eat only sparingly or of certain kinds of food, especially as a religious observance.

verb (used with object)

to cause to abstain entirely from or limit food; put on a fast: to fast a patient for a day before surgery.


an abstinence from food, or a limiting of one's food, especially when voluntary and as a religious observance; fasting.
a day or period of fasting.

Origin of fast

before 1000; Middle English fasten, Old English fæstan; cognate with German fasten, Gothic fastan, Old Norse fasta

Related formsun·fast·ing, adjective


[ fast, fahst ]
/ fæst, fɑst /


a chain or rope for mooring a vessel.

Origin of fast

1670–80; alteration, by association with fast1, of late Middle English fest, perhaps noun use of fest, past participle of festen to fasten, or < Old Norse festr mooring rope Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fast

British Dictionary definitions for fast


/ (fɑːst) /




archery (said by the field captain to archers) stop shooting!

Word Origin for fast

Old English fæst strong, tight; related to Old High German festi firm, Old Norse fastr


(intr) to abstain from eating all or certain foods or meals, esp as a religious observance


  1. an act or period of fasting
  2. (as modifier)a fast day
Derived Formsfaster, noun

Word Origin for fast

Old English fæstan; related to Old High German fastēn to fast, Gothic fastan

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

Word Origin and History for fast
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with fast


In addition to the idioms beginning with fast

  • fast and furious
  • fast and loose
  • fast buck
  • fast lane
  • fast track

also see:

  • get nowhere (fast)
  • hard and fast
  • pull a fast one
  • stand one's ground (fast)
  • thick and fast
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.