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[fas-uh n, fah-suh n] /ˈfæs ən, ˈfɑ sən/
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 forms
refasten, verb (used with object)
well-fastened, adjective
1. connect, link, hook, clasp, clinch, rivet, clamp, bind, tie, tether. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fasten
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was worn on the breast, a little to one side, so as to fasten the mantle.

    Women of England, Volume 9 (of 10) Burleigh James Bartlett
  • "Now let us fasten up the door I came in by," said Christopher.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Now fasten the whole to the main column so that the sides coincide.

    Toy-Making in School and Home Ruby Kathleen Polkinghorne and Mabel Irene Rutherford Polkinghorne
  • Put the stuffing in the haddock, and fasten it with a small skewer.

    The Skilful Cook Mary Harrison
  • Bolts of it leaped upward to fasten upon gun-butts and the buckles of the cartridge belts.

    A World is Born Leigh Douglass Brackett
British Dictionary definitions for fasten


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
(transitive; foll by in or up) to enclose or imprison
(transitive) 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; fix: he fastened his gaze on the girl
(intransitive) usually foll by on. take firm hold (of)
Derived Forms
fastener, noun
Word Origin
Old English fæstnian; related to Old Norse fastna to pledge, Old High German fastinōn to make fast; see fast1
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
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Word Origin and History for fasten

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
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