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[fat-n] /ˈfæt n/
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
1545-55; fat + -en1
Related forms
fattenable, adjective
fattener, noun
overfatten, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fatten
  • Trout in these lakes and reservoirs fatten-up on alewives and grow to a much larger size than their stream dwelling counterparts.
  • We all do tend to fatten up with age, although there are interesting differences based on age and gender.
  • Farmers have justified their practice on the grounds that antibiotics help fatten up the birds, thereby increasing profits.
  • It no longer made sense to raise the old varieties that took more than twice as long to fatten up and never grew as big.
  • The company plans to fatten profits by becoming more of a producer and even designer of its goods, especially clothing.
  • Marauding gangs are grabbing tracts of land to fatten their electoral rolls.
  • First, they would fatten the bacteria on free wastewater instead of expensive refined sugar.
  • These hungry fish are seeking out big meals to fatten up for the cold-weather months ahead.
  • In the fall, they not only cache food, but also fatten themselves up to better survive the winter.
  • On the northern ranges the object was to fatten the raw-boned cattle for the market as soon as possible.
British Dictionary definitions for fatten


to grow or cause to grow fat or fatter
(transitive) to cause (an animal or fowl) to become fat by feeding it
(transitive) to make fuller or richer
(transitive) to enrich (soil) by adding fertilizing agents
Derived Forms
fattenable, adjective
fattener, noun
fattening, 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
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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
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