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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
  • Wear clothing appropriate for the season and securely fasten shoes.
  • If cut in long fillets, roll, and fasten with small wooden skewers.
  • Mussels are bivalves that fasten themselves firmly to ships, piers and other objects in salt water.
  • Everything still works, including the fasten seat belt light.
  • Clean the rims of the jars to promote a good seal, then fasten the caps tightly and invert onto a wire rack to cool.
  • Moisten a paper towel and fasten it to the top of the dowels.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Place deck panels flat and square and fasten to supporting frame without warp or deflection.
  • fasten furring channels to walls with power-actuated drive pins or hardened steel concrete nails.
  • fasten one of the erasers to the string and drop the string through the empty spool.
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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