fat·​ten ˈfa-tᵊn How to pronounce fatten (audio)
fattened; fattening ˈfat-niŋ How to pronounce fatten (audio)

transitive verb

: to make fat, fleshy, or plump
especially : to feed (an animal) for slaughter
: to make more substantial
: to make fertile

intransitive verb

: to become fat
ˈfat-nər How to pronounce fatten (audio)

Examples of fatten in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many companies jacked up the charges by more than what was required to cover their rising costs, and that fattened their profit margins. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 22 Jan. 2024 One key difference between the northern and southern species is that the northern elephant seals spend a few more days fattening up on mother’s milk. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Jan. 2024 The bears living along Alaska's Brooks River have spent the summer fattening up on salmon, berries and grasses in preparation for their annual winter hibernation, according to Katmai National Park. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 12 Oct. 2023 Baby boomers are flush, with high interest rates fattening their savings accounts. Alexandra Semenova, Fortune, 27 Oct. 2023 The Rockets this next week will look to fatten up their record against two of the worst teams in the league. Rahat Huq, Forbes, 10 Dec. 2023 At the other end of that cycle is an industry relying on cheap labor and flimsy materials to fatten profit margins and keep prices down. Rachel Kurzius, Washington Post, 5 Sep. 2023 Alfalfa grown in Arizona is exported by the ton to fatten cattle in Asia and the Middle East. Wade Davis, Rolling Stone, 3 Sep. 2023 His slightest pronouncements fattened a thousand provincial newspaper columns. James Wood, The New Yorker, 6 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fatten.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1552, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of fatten was circa 1552

Dictionary Entries Near fatten

Cite this Entry

“Fatten.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fatten. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


fat·​ten ˈfat-ᵊn How to pronounce fatten (audio)
fattened; fattening ˈfat-niŋ How to pronounce fatten (audio)
: to make or become fat
fattener noun

More from Merriam-Webster on fatten

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