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

Definition of fatten

transitive verb

1a : to make fat, fleshy, or plump especially : to feed (an animal) for slaughter
b : to make more substantial
2 : to make fertile

intransitive verb

: to become fat

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Other Words from fatten

fattener \ ˈfat-​nər How to pronounce fattener (audio) , ˈfa-​tə-​nər \ noun

Examples of fatten in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Then fatten up for Fat Tuesday with creole fare by Orlandeaux’s Cafe and king cake samples featuring colorful confections from Shreveport-Bossier City bakeries. Dallas News, "12 fun things to do the week of Jan. 17-23 in Dallas-Fort Worth," 16 Jan. 2020 Because antibiotics are routinely mixed into pig and cattle and poultry feed to protect and fatten the animals, animal ag promotes antibiotic resistance, which is projected to cause ten million deaths a year by 2050. Tad Friend, The New Yorker, "Can a Burger Help Solve Climate Change?," 23 Sep. 2019 And, with three non-conference games left, Minnesota could still fatten up on AFC opponents. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL midseason report cards: 32 things we learned while grading the teams," 31 Oct. 2019 Their venture involves gathering large numbers of purple urchins from overrun areas, fattening them up in tanks, and then selling them to restaurants. Smithsonian, "Can Eating Sea Urchins Help Revive Kelp Forests?," 21 Sep. 2019 Despite such questions, the development council has repeatedly fattened Al Jihad’s contract, agreeing in a series of add-ons to pay the company an additional $161 million to upgrade and expand the operation, without opening the process to new bids. New York Times, "To Make Sense of Lebanon’s Protests, Follow the Garbage," 3 Dec. 2019 Floyd will pad his 50-0 record and fatten his bank account. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Why Floyd Mayweather's comeback is about more than just money," 22 Nov. 2019 Then there were the fencing coaches’ charities, fattened with Zhao’s cash, and the quiet Virginia land deal. BostonGlobe.com, "train its athletic personnel," 10 Nov. 2019 Also present were crabs, grenadier fish, bristle worms, sea pigs and a big squat lobster—possibly fattened up from a feast at the skeleton, one scientist joked. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian, "Watch Marine Life Feast On a Complete Whale Skeleton On the Ocean Floor," 16 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fatten.' 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 fatten

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

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Time Traveler for fatten

Time Traveler

The first known use of fatten was circa 1552

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Statistics for fatten

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fatten.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fatten. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for fatten


How to pronounce fatten (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fatten

: to make (someone or something) fat
: to become fat


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

Kids Definition of fatten

: to make or become fat

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More from Merriam-Webster on fatten

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fatten

Spanish Central: Translation of fatten

Nglish: Translation of fatten for Spanish Speakers

Comments on fatten

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


dull or mediocre

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