• synonyms


[fas-uhn, fah-suhn]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to attach firmly or securely in place; fix securely to something else.
  2. to make secure, as an article of dress with buttons, clasps, etc., or a door with a lock, bolt, etc.
  3. to enclose securely, as a person or an animal (usually followed by in): to fasten a monkey in a cage.
  4. to attach, associate, or connect: to fasten a nickname on someone.
  5. to direct (the eyes, thoughts, etc.) intently: to fasten one's eyes on a speaker.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become fast, fixed, or firm.
  2. to close firmly or securely; lock: This clasp won't fasten.
  3. to take a firm hold; seize (usually followed by on or upon): to fasten on an idea.
  4. to focus attention; concentrate (usually followed by on or upon): His gaze fastened on the jewels.
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Origin of fasten

before 900; Middle English fastenen, Old English fæstnian; cognate with Old Norse fastna to betroth; akin to fast1
Related formsre·fas·ten, verb (used with object)well-fas·tened, adjective

Synonyms for fasten

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for fasten

screw, tighten, weld, affix, adhere, nail, attach, bolt, solder, glue, truss, wedge, set, lace, chain, strengthen, lock, hitch, hook, tag

Examples from the Web for fasten

Contemporary Examples of fasten

Historical Examples of fasten

British Dictionary definitions for fasten


  1. to make or become fast or secure
  2. to make or become attached or joined
  3. to close or become closed by fixing firmly in place, locking, etc
  4. (tr; foll by in or up) to enclose or imprison
  5. (tr usually foll by on) to cause (blame, a nickname, etc) to be attached (to); place (on) or impute (to)
  6. (usually foll by on or upon) to direct or be directed in a concentrated way; fixhe fastened his gaze on the girl
  7. (intr usually foll by on) take firm hold (of)
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Derived Formsfastener, noun

Word Origin for fasten

Old English fæstnian; related to Old Norse fastna to pledge, Old High German fastinōn to make fast; see fast 1
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 fasten


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper