fas·​ten | \ ˈfa-sᵊn How to pronounce fasten (audio) \
fastened; fastening\ ˈfas-​niŋ How to pronounce fastening (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fasten

fastener \ ˈfas-​nər How to pronounce fastener (audio) , ˈfa-​sᵊn-​ər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for fasten


affix, attach, bend, fix


detach, undo, unfasten, unhook

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

While walking in the heat, the glue that fastened Russo’s wig melted. Sarah Espedido,, "MegaCon costume repair center offers a place to fix cosplay," 12 June 2019 Brosnahan, in what seems to be an ode to her Emmy Award-winning role, fastened a black satin ribbon onto her volumized bouffant last night—the ultimate face-framing add-on to the newly blonde beauty’s sparkling metallic frock. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Rachel Brosnahan Channels Mrs. Maisel With This Retro Hair Accessory," 12 June 2019 Authorities have been tight-lipped on the investigation, but some experts believe based on available images and video footage that the crane collapsed as a result of prematurely removing the bolts that fasten its sections together. Daniel Gilbert, The Seattle Times, "Washington state clears one of several firms involved in deadly crane collapse," 10 June 2019 This would be like a law requiring you to fasten your seat belt in the event of a crash. Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, "Safety experts say Missouri would be brainless to repeal helmet law," 3 May 2018 Depending on the hotel's price point, shampoos, conditioners, and shower gels will be fastened to the wall (for budget brands) or unfastened (for luxury brands). Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "Marriott International, the World's Largest Hotel Chain, Is Banning Small Toiletries by 2020," 28 Aug. 2019 As the harness fastened over Justin's Detroit Lions jersey, the five-hour drive from Huron Township to Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh felt more worth it with every second. J.l. Kirven, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions fan makes history riding Steel Curtain roller coaster," 12 July 2019 Elastic, snaps, magnets, large buttons, zippers, drawstrings, and Velcro fasten everything from dress shirts and raincoats to swim trunks and pajamas. Annie Groer,, "For people with disabilities, finding clothing that is stylish and meets their needs is getting easier," 7 Aug. 2019 Researchers argue global warming boosts population and insect appetite, and fastens the metabolic rate of insect pests, thereby causing them to consume more. Amindeh Blaise Atabong, Quartz Africa, "This startup is using artificial intelligence to help African farmers tackle crop pests and diseases," 2 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fasten

Statistics for fasten

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fasten

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce fasten (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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 bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!