[fas-uh-ning, fah-suh-]
See more synonyms for fastening on

Origin of fastening

Middle English word dating back to 1125–75; see origin at fasten, -ing1


[fas-uhn, fah-suhn]
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.
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.

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

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for fastening

lock, fastener, clasp, hook

Examples from the Web for fastening

Contemporary Examples of fastening

Historical Examples of fastening

  • It was pushed to, but not locked, and had no fastening upon it except the lock, in which was the key.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • The manner of fastening the ribs to the frame pieces is optional.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • Evidently the fastening was serving him better than he had dared hope.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • He was giving up hope for Hermione and fastening hope on Vere.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • When cooked, remove the cloth and put in a clean one, fastening it as before.

    The Skilful Cook

    Mary Harrison

British Dictionary definitions for fastening


  1. something that fastens, such as a clasp or lock


  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)
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 fastening



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper