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 fattening

Contemporary Examples of fattening

Historical Examples of fattening

  • But, say, what was this proposition of yours about fattening the bank roll?

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

  • "It looks as though Lebigre were fattening him up for sale," she reflected.

  • This is indicative of fattening, perhaps, beyond all other qualifications.

  • "It is only the people you are fattening in the dungeon," said the wife.

    Favorite Fairy Tales

    Logan Marshall

  • It is the most concentrated and fattening food to be bought.

British Dictionary definitions for fattening



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 fattening

"that makes fat," 1690s, present participle adjective from fatten. Earlier word was fatting (1530s).



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