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fastness

[fast-nis, fahst-]
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noun
  1. a secure or fortified place; stronghold: a mountain fastness.
  2. the state of being fixed or firm: the fastness of democratic institutions.
  3. the state of being rapid.
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Origin of fastness

before 900; Middle English; Old English fæstnes. See fast1, -ness
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fastness

Historical Examples

  • His spirit retired far into its fastness, taking with it all his energies.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Hardened men with a hardened code, they lived in their fastness like Ishmaelites.

    Nan of Music Mountain

    Frank H. Spearman

  • He advised a retreat for the night, and an attack on Walter when he should have left the fastness.

  • What is meant by the expression “fastness of color of two fabrics”?

    Textiles

    William H. Dooley

  • I did not come to you and say, 'Let me beard the cook in her fastness.


British Dictionary definitions for fastness

fastness

noun
  1. a stronghold; fortress
  2. the state or quality of being firm or secure
  3. the ability of a dye to remain permanent and not run or fade
  4. archaic swiftness
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Word Origin

Old English fæstnes; 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 fastness

n.

"a place not easily forced, a stronghold," late Old English fæstnes, from fast (adj.) in its older sense of "firm, fixed in place" + -ness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper