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

One diver, John Volanthen, reached the end of his line, fastened it in the mud, and emerged from the water to find 13 pairs of eyes staring at him. Richard C. Paddock, New York Times, "How Rescuers Pulled Off the Impossible in a Treacherous Thai Cave," 10 July 2018 Thread them into your normal shoes, then fasten them and cut them to fit. Brent Rose, WIRED, "Lost the Use of Your Dominant Hand? This Tech Can Help," 30 Mar. 2018 Palau and his team used Redken Guts to prep then dryed the hair, fastened six hair pieces on each girl, then smoothed it with Redken Shine Flash and Redken Forceful 23 hairspray. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "People Are Freaking Out Over Kaia Gerber's Massive Hair Moment at Valentino," 5 July 2018 With Love Is___, Brock Akil fastens another hue of black life to the wall of history. Jason Parham, WIRED, "How Oprah’s Network Finally Found Its Voice," 19 June 2018 Remember the figure-8 that fastens the tendon to the medial epicondyle, that small bump on your humerus bone? Gabriel Baumgaertner,, "With Violent Elbow Injuries Behind Him, Braves Reliever Dan Winkler Is Pitching Like an All-Star," 4 July 2018 Smith then climbed the flagpole, fastened on an American flag, and reportedly waved his hat in defiance as some gunshots whizzed past him. Pauline Repard,, "Richard Smith joins 172-year family history of Old Town flag-waving," 23 June 2018 The artist had a habit of taking the company's more traditional pieces of pottery and fastening them together to form one of a kind pieces. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville pottery company has a new owner and a trove of forgotten art," 11 June 2018 Once filled, the pant legs should resemble logs, with one end fastened and the other end open. Katja Vujić,, "Here’s how to plant a beach umbrella so it doesn’t blow away," 2 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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Phrases Related to fasten

fasten on

fasten onto

Statistics for fasten

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

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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

Comments on fasten

What made you want to look up fasten? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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