fet·​tle | \ ˈfe-tᵊl How to pronounce fettle (audio) \

Definition of fettle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: state or condition of health, fitness, wholeness, spirit, or form often used in the phrase in fine fettle


fettled; fettling\ ˈfet-​liŋ How to pronounce fettling (audio) , ˈfe-​tᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of fettle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cover or line the hearth of (something, such as a reverberatory furnace) with loose material (such as sand or gravel)

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Synonyms for fettle

Synonyms: Noun

condition, estate, form, health, keeping, kilter, nick [British], order, repair, shape, trim

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Examples of fettle in a Sentence


a visit to the relatives on the other side of the state revealed them all to be in fine fettle

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That one defeat to Portugal was the first time Switzerland have been beaten in 90 minutes since a 2015 defeat to England, so both teams enter this one in fine fettle. SI.com, "World Cup Preview: Brazil vs Switzerland - Recent Form, Team News, Predictions & More," 16 June 2018 And Lagerfeld himself seemed in pretty fine fettle. Cathy Horyn, The Cut, "All Aboard the S.S. Chanel," 4 May 2018 The Spanish stopper has played seven seasons at United, and has been in stellar fettle this campaign. SI.com, "David de Gea Explains Why This Season Has Been His 'Most Productive' as a Man Utd Player," 24 Apr. 2018 One reason for the reversal of fortunes is that GM has convinced investors that its current business is in fine fettle. The Economist, "General Uber-MotorsGM takes an unexpected lead in the race to develop autonomous vehicles," 25 Jan. 2018 The most likable character actually is a private-equity guy himself, Leo Tresler (Michael Siberry in fine fettle). Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Sold! Ayad Akhtar's 'Junk' on Broadway hits fast and hard," 2 Nov. 2017 Left winger Ante Erceg, for instance, has begun the season in fine fettle - the 27-year-old netting four goals in his first six appearances this term - to take his overall tally for the club to 17 goals in just 39 games. SI.com, "In Profile: Taking a Closer Look at Everton's Europa League Play-Off Opponents Hajduk Split," 4 Aug. 2017 The orchestra played splendidly throughout the evening, with the brass in particularly fine fettle and the strings sounding lustrous. Bob Thomas, Orange County Register, "Pacific Symphony proves itself big enough to handle Mahler’s Symphony No. 2," 9 June 2017 But now Julia has been brought to life in fine Muppet fettle. Frazier Moore, The Denver Post, "A Muppet with autism to be welcomed soon on “Sesame Street”," 20 Mar. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Even my new friend here— a show car almost certainly hand-fettled for the occasion —suffers from faults of panel alignment. Dan Neil, WSJ, "How Tesla Electrified Rivals at the L.A. Auto Show," 8 Dec. 2017 View 39 Photos If today’s Leaf is that one-percenter, this new-generation car is formed and fettled to be a 10-percenter. Bengt Halvorson, Car and Driver, "2018 Nissan Leaf: Turning Over Anew," 6 Sep. 2017

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


1740, in the meaning defined above


1881, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fettle

Verb and Noun

British dialect, to set in order, get ready, from Middle English fetlen to shape, prepare; perhaps akin to Old English fetian to fetch — more at fetch

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Statistics for fettle

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Time Traveler for fettle

The first known use of fettle was in 1740

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More Definitions for fettle



English Language Learners Definition of fettle

informal : a person's physical state or condition

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More from Merriam-Webster on fettle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fettle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fettle

Spanish Central: Translation of fettle

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