state; condition: in fine fettle.
verb (used with object), fettled, fettling.
Ceramics. to remove mold marks from (a cast piece).
to remove sand from (a casting).
to repair the hearth of (an open-hearth furnace).

1300–50; Middle English fetle to shape, prepare, back formation from fetled, Old English *fetelede girded up, equivalent to fetel belt + -ede -ed2

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fettle (ˈfɛtəl)
1.  to remove (excess moulding material and casting irregularities) from a cast component
2.  to line or repair (the walls of a furnace)
3.  dialect (Brit)
 a.  to prepare or arrange (a thing, oneself, etc), esp to put a finishing touch to
 b.  to repair or mend (something)
4.  state of health, spirits, etc (esp in the phrase in fine fettle)
5.  another name for fettling
[C14 (in the sense: to put in order): back formation from fetled girded up, from Old English fetel belt]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"condition, state, trim," c.1750, from v. sense "to make ready, arrange" (14c.), from O.E. fetel "a girdle, belt," from P.Gmc. *fatiloz (cf. Ger. fessel, O.N. fetill), from *fat- "to hold."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

fettle fet·tle (fět'l)

  1. Proper or sound condition.

  2. Mental or emotional state; spirits.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
And of course, advanced veterinary practice kept your pirate parrots in fine
But a clutch of company results this week show the biggest firms to be
  generally in fine fettle.
He has no immediate challenger on the left, and the economy is in fine fettle.
Asked about his health, he replied that he was in excellent fettle.
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