[fas-uh-ning, fah-suh-]


something that fastens, as a lock or clasp.

Origin of fastening

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


[fas-uhn, fah-suhn]

verb (used with object)

to attach firmly or securely in place; fix securely to something else.
to make secure, as an article of dress with buttons, clasps, etc., or a door with a lock, bolt, etc.
to enclose securely, as a person or an animal (usually followed by in): to fasten a monkey in a cage.
to attach, associate, or connect: to fasten a nickname on someone.
to direct (the eyes, thoughts, etc.) intently: to fasten one's eyes on a speaker.

verb (used without object)

to become fast, fixed, or firm.
to close firmly or securely; lock: This clasp won't fasten.
to take a firm hold; seize (usually followed by on or upon): to fasten on an idea.
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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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

  • Two small screw-eyes are placed in the boat, for fastening it to the davits.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats

    Raymond Francis Yates

British Dictionary definitions for fastening



something that fastens, such as a clasp or lock



to make or become fast or secure
to make or become attached or joined
to close or become closed by fixing firmly in place, locking, etc
(tr; foll by in or up) to enclose or imprison
(tr usually foll by on) to cause (blame, a nickname, etc) to be attached (to); place (on) or impute (to)
(usually foll by on or upon) to direct or be directed in a concentrated way; fixhe fastened his gaze on the girl
(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