verb (used with object)

to make fat.
to feed (animals) abundantly before slaughter.
to enrich: to fatten the soil; to fatten one's pocketbook.
  1. Poker.to increase the number of chips in (a pot).
  2. Pinochle.to play a card that scores high on (a trick) expected to be taken by a partner.

verb (used without object)

to grow fat.

Origin of fatten

First recorded in 1545–55; fat + -en1
Related formsfat·ten·a·ble, adjectivefat·ten·er, nouno·ver·fat·ten, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fatten

Contemporary Examples of fatten

Historical Examples of fatten

  • He began to joke, and told his brother that he would undertake to fatten him.

  • But the principal use to which we put them is to fatten our pigs.

  • Are men who have these institutions only to eat and fatten like beasts?



  • As for me, I am over-young to break my neck and be left on the mountain-side to fatten crows.

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini

  • Fatten them up well, and the foreigners will give me good prices.'

British Dictionary definitions for fatten



to grow or cause to grow fat or fatter
(tr) to cause (an animal or fowl) to become fat by feeding it
(tr) to make fuller or richer
(tr) to enrich (soil) by adding fertilizing agents
Derived Formsfattenable, adjectivefattener, nounfattening, adjective
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 fatten

1550s, from fat + -en (1). Related: Fattened. The earlier verb was simply fat (Old English fættian "to become fat, fatten"); e.g. fatted calf.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper