fas·​ten | \ ˈfa-sᵊn \
fastened; fastening\ ˈfas-​niŋ , ˈfa-​sᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of fasten

transitive verb

1a : to attach especially by pinning, tying, or nailing
b : to make fast and secure
c : to fix firmly or securely
d : to secure against opening
2 : to fix or set steadily fastened her attention on the main problem
3 : to take a firm grip with the dog fastened its teeth in the shoe
4a : to attach (oneself) persistently and usually objectionably
b : to place forcefully : impose fastened the blame on the wrong person

intransitive verb

1 : to become fast or fixed
2a : to take a firm grip or hold
b : to focus attention

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Other Words from fasten

fastener \ ˈfas-​nər , ˈfa-​sᵊn-​ər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for fasten


affix, attach, bend, fix


detach, undo, unfasten, unhook

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Choose the Right Synonym for fasten

fasten, fix, attach, affix mean to make something stay firmly in place. fasten implies an action such as tying, buttoning, nailing, locking, or otherwise securing. fasten the reins to a post fix usually implies a driving in, implanting, or embedding. fixed the stake in the ground attach suggests a connecting or uniting by a bond, link, or tie in order to keep things together. attach the W-2 form here affix implies an imposing of one thing on another by gluing, impressing, or nailing. affix your address label here

Examples of fasten in a Sentence

fastening clothes on a clothesline He fastened the dog's leash to a post and went into the store. two boards fastened together by nails a decorative clasp that could be used to fasten a cape or cloak a shoe that fastens with a buckle This dress fastens in the back. She twisted her hair into a bun and fastened it with bobby pins. Make sure the lid is tightly fastened. The lock was so damaged it wouldn't fasten. He fastened his hands on my arm and wouldn't let go.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But after the quick sweat session, Johnson let her newfound voluminous texture work to her advantage, fastening a swift plait through her layered lengths before exiting the Studio City gym. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Dakota Johnson's Gym Hair Is All the Workout Motivation You Need," 8 Jan. 2019 In addition to her note, Dove shared a photo of her ER bracelet, fastened over a black-and-white-sleeve. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Dove Cameron Tells Fans She Is in the Hospital After Sustaining a Neck Injury," 31 Dec. 2018 From what can be seen, the style seems to be slicked down in front, then fastened into a low ponytail that falls just below the belt. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Jennifer Lopez Shows Off Extra Long Ponytail by Stylist Chris Appleton," 17 July 2018 To avoid accidental poisoning and to protect your children, the CDC suggests putting medicines up and away with the safety cap securely fastened after every use. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This One Simple Step Could Save Your Kids From Accidental Poisoning This Halloween," 31 Oct. 2018 Buttoning up your shirt is overrated—or so says Bella Hadid, who has stepped out in New York City yet again without properly fastening the closures on her top. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Bella Hadid Wore an Unbuttoned Shirt Hanging Out With The Weeknd," 30 Oct. 2018 Her crisp, all-white ensemble featured a figure-hugging blazer with a bedazzled lapel, a button-down shirt fastened all the way to the collar, and a dramatic pair of flowy, wide-legged culottes that pooled around the actor’s feet. Andrea Park, Allure, "Blake Lively's Low Ponytail Perfectly Complements Her Sharp White Suit at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards," 21 Aug. 2018 But in an inexplicable design flaw, the Medtronic sensor’s transmitter has to be separately fastened to the skin with not one but two pieces of itchy, irritating tape. David Lazarus,, "Cutting-edge tech makes diabetes management easier (and less painful) than ever," 7 June 2018 The passengers eventually push Felix back down into his seat, alternatively wrestling with him and attempting to soothe him while the pilot's voice comes over the speakers, asking everyone to fasten their seat belts. Avi Selk,, "An American Airlines passenger was refused beer — so he screamed, fought and spit blood, FBI says," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fasten.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fasten

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for fasten

Middle English fastnen, from Old English fæstnian to make fast; akin to Old High German festinōn to make fast, Old English fæst fast

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Statistics for fasten

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fasten

The first known use of fasten was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for fasten



English Language Learners Definition of fasten

: to attach (something) or join (two things or two parts of something) especially by using a pin, nail, etc.

of parts of something : to become attached or joined

: to put something in a position or location in such a way that it will not move


fas·​ten | \ ˈfa-sᵊn \
fastened; fastening

Kids Definition of fasten

1 : to attach or join by or as if by pinning, tying, or nailing She fastened the papers together.
2 : to make firm and secure Fasten your seat belt.
3 : to become fixed or joined The dress fastens in the back.

Other Words from fasten

fastener noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on fasten

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fasten

Spanish Central: Translation of fasten

Nglish: Translation of fasten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fasten for Arabic Speakers

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