View synonyms for fat


[ fat ]


, fat·ter, fat·test.
  1. having too much flabby tissue; corpulent; obese:

    a fat person.

    Synonyms: pudgy, adipose, portly

    Antonyms: thin

  2. plump; well-fed:

    a good, fat chicken.

  3. consisting of or containing fat; greasy; oily:

    fat gravy; fat meat.

    Synonyms: fatty, unctuous

    Antonyms: lean

  4. profitable, as an office:

    a fat job on the city commission.

    Synonyms: remunerative, lucrative

  5. affording good opportunities, especially for gain:

    a fat business contract.

  6. wealthy; prosperous; rich:

    He grew fat on dishonest profits.

  7. big, broad, or extended; thick:

    a fat sheaf of bills.

  8. plentiful; abundant:

    a fat supply of food.

    Synonyms: copious

  9. plentifully supplied:

    a fat larder; a fat feast.

  10. dull; stupid:

    fat clumsiness of manner.

    Synonyms: sluggish

    Antonyms: clever

  11. abounding in a particular element:

    Fat pine is rich in resin.

  12. (of paint) having more oil than pigment. Compare lean 2( def 6 ).
  13. (of coal) highly bituminous; rich in volatile hydrocarbons.
  14. Ceramics. long 1( def 25 ).
  15. fertile, as land:

    Everything grows in this fat soil.

    Synonyms: productive, fruitful, rich

    Antonyms: barren, sterile


  1. any of several white or yellowish greasy substances, forming the chief part of adipose tissue of animals and also occurring in plants, that when pure are colorless, odorless, and tasteless and are either solid or liquid esters of glycerol with fatty acids; fats are insoluble in water or cold alcohol but soluble in ether, chloroform, or benzene: used in the manufacture of soap, paints, and other protective coatings and in cooking.
  2. animal tissue containing much of this substance; loose flesh; flabbiness:

    to have rolls of fat around one's waist.

  3. the richest or best part of anything.
  4. obesity; corpulence:

    In his later years, he inclined to fat.

  5. Slang. especially profitable or advantageous work.
  6. an overabundance or excess; superfluity.
  7. action or lines in a dramatic part that permit an actor to display abilities.
  8. Also Also called lift. Typesetting. matter that can be composed easily and profitably, especially from standing type, illustrations, or the like: Compare lean 2( def 11 ).

    fat work.

verb (used with or without object)

, fat·ted, fat·ting.
  1. to make or become fat.


/ fæt /


  1. any of a class of naturally occurring soft greasy solids that are esters of glycerol and certain fatty acids. They are present in some plants and in the adipose tissue of animals, forming a reserve energy source, and are used in making soap and paint and in the food industry See also oil
  2. vegetable or animal tissue containing fat adiposelipoidstearic
  3. corpulence, obesity, or plumpness
  4. the best or richest part of something
  5. a part in a play that gives an actor a good opportunity to show his talents
  6. chew the fat slang.
    1. to argue over a point
    2. to talk idly; gossip
  7. the fat is in the fire
    an irrevocable action has been taken, esp one from which dire consequences are expected
  8. the fat of the land
    the best that is obtainable
“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


  1. having much or too much flesh or fat
  2. consisting of or containing fat; greasy

    fat pork

  3. profitable; lucrative

    a fat year

  4. affording great opportunities

    a fat part in the play

  5. fertile or productive

    a fat land

  6. thick, broad, or extended

    a fat log of wood

  7. having a high content of a particular material or ingredient, such as resin in wood or oil in paint
  8. plentifully supplied

    a fat larder

  9. slang.
    empty; stupid

    get this into your fat head

  10. slang.
    very little or none; minimal (in phrases such as a fat chance , a fat lot of good , etc)
“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


  1. to make or become fat; fatten
“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


/ făt /

  1. Any of a large number of oily compounds that are widely found in plant and animal tissues and serve mainly as a reserve source of energy. In mammals, fat, or adipose tissue , is deposited beneath the skin and around the internal organs, where it also protects and insulates against heat loss. Fat is a necessary, efficient source of energy. An ounce of fat contains more than twice as much stored energy as does an ounce of protein or carbohydrates and is digested more slowly, resulting in the sensation of satiety after eating. It also enhances the taste, aroma, and texture of food. Fats are made chiefly of triglycerides, each molecule of which contains three fatty acids. Dietary fat supplies humans with essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid and linolenic acid . Fat also regulates cholesterol metabolism and is a precursor of prostaglandins .
  2. See more at saturated fat

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Derived Forms

  • ˈfatness, noun
  • ˈfatly, adverb
  • ˈfattish, adjective
  • ˈfatless, adjective
  • ˈfatˌlike, adjective
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Other Words From

  • fatless adjective
  • fatlike adjective
  • de·fat verb (used with object) defatted defatting
  • over·fat adjective
  • un·fatted adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of fat1

First recorded before 1000; Middle English; Old English fǣtt, originally the past participle of fǣtan “to cram, load, adorn”; cognate with Gothic fētjan “to adorn”; akin to vat
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Word History and Origins

Origin of fat1

Old English fǣtt , past participle of fǣtan to cram; related to Old Norse feita , Old High German feizen to fatten; compare Gothic fētjan to adorn
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. a fat chance, Slang. a very slight chance; small probability:

    A fat chance he has of winning the title!

  2. a fat lot, Slang. little or not at all:

    A fat lot they care about anyone else's troubles!

  3. the fat is in the fire,
    1. an irrevocable action or chain of events has been started; the die is cast:

      Now that they have been given an ultimatum, the fat is in the fire.

    2. the decision, whether good or bad, has been made.
    3. the crisis is imminent.
  4. the fat of the land, the best or richest of anything obtainable:

    to live on the fat of the land.

  5. chew the fat. chew ( def 11 ).

More idioms and phrases containing fat

  • chew the fat
  • kill the fatted calf
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Synonym Study

See stout.
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Example Sentences

In place of “tomato-soup mystery cake” was “reduced-fat chocolate mousse cake.”

That means you may feel sluggish after eating it, as fats tend to sit heavier in the stomach and digest slower than carbs and protein.

As Rachel lets her mother’s messages go unanswered, she craves forbidden food, the kind with salt and fat and sugar.

Big, fat fluffy flakes that fall from the sky and pile up in freezing mounds.

In the wintertime, fat-tire bikes are allowed at select parks, including on ungroomed trails within Acadia National Park.

“One of the big misconceptions is that eating fat makes you fat, because it has more calories,” Asprey says.

Roll the pork over the stuffing, like a jelly roll, until the seam is facing down and the fat back is on top.

Lay the butterflied pork loin on the cutting board with the fat cap facing down.

He wasn't crazy about being fat, but he saw his body as a tool to use in the making of his career.

About our Eric Garners—too fat, too scared, too noncompliant, too many kids—there are always, as Flagg knows well, excuses.

Give a sweet savour, and a memorial of fine flour, and make a fat offering, and then give place to the physician.

Then a fat, untidy old man appeared in the doorway of a cubicle within the shop, and Edwin Clayhanger blushed.

He wished her mother had not been quite such an appalling person, fat and painted.

It was a spring day, and the fat buds of the chestnuts were bursting into magnificent green plumes.

He controlled himself betimes, bethinking him that, after all, there might be some reason in what this fat fellow said.


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About This Word

What is a basic definition of fat?

Fat is commonly used as a way to describe someone as obese or overweight.

This is most often used in a critical, judgmental, or mean way. In contrast, words like obese and overweight are more often used in a neutral way, such as in a medical context in the discussion of a person’s health (though they too can be used in a judgmental or mean way).

This sense of fat isn’t always used in a negative way. Some people might call others or themselves fat in a way that’s not intended to be critical, as in I’m fat and I’m fabulous and all the body-shamers will just have to deal with it. 

Sometimes, people replace the word fat with words intended to be more polite or euphemistic, such as heavy, heavyset, plump, and chubby. However, these words still focus on a person’s weight or appearance in a way that can be demeaning or objectifying.

As a noun, fat refers to the greasy substance that forms some types of tissue in the body of humans and animals (some of which the body stores and uses for energy) and some plants. The word is often used more casually to refer to a person’s excess flesh, as in belly fat.  

In the context of nutrition, fat refers to this kind of substance in the foods we eat. Foods from animals, such as meat, milk, and eggs, all contain fat. But so do some plant-based foods, such as nuts, avocados, and olive oil. However, there are different kinds of fat, such as saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and trans-fat, each of which can have different effects on a person’s nutrition and health. In general, it’s usually recommended not to consume too much fat. However, some fats are necessary in a diet because they help the body to absorb vitamins. The nutrition label on food products usually tell you exactly how much fat and what kinds of fats are in them.

The word fat is common and has many other meanings as an adjective, a noun, and even a verb.

Example: This diet is based on avoiding foods that are high in fat.  

Where does fat come from?

The first records of the word fat come from before the year 1000. It comes from the Old English verb fǣtan, meaning “to cram” or “to load.”

Many of the meanings of fat involve the idea of excess. As an adjective, it’s often used to describe someone who’s considered to have an excess of fatty tissue in their body—a judgment that’s simply inappropriate outside of medical advice. When used in a figurative way, the noun fat refers to something that’s excessive or unnecessary, as in We need to trim the fat from this budget and focus on the essentials.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to fat?

What are some synonyms for fat?

What are some words that share a root or word element with fat

What are some words that often get used in discussing fat?

How is fat used in real life?

Fat is an extremely common word with many different meanings. It’s offensive to call a person fat in a mean or judgmental way.


Try using fat!

True or False? 

Only foods from animals contain fat.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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