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 I proved to her I was in fine fettle by consuming a herculean portion of eggs scrambled with onions and smoked salmon.— Lawrence SandersHe stopped practicing or even warming up before tournament rounds in order to spare strain on the risky hip. His golf game was nonetheless in fine fettle—provided he could keep swinging.— Alfred Wright


fettled; fettling\ ˈfet-​liŋ How to pronounce fettle (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

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Examples of fettle in a Sentence

Noun 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 Your business sense is in high fettle in April and your ambition should grow as May arrives, but this isn’t a good time to launch a new business. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for March 29, 2021: Gemini, follow your instincts; Aquarius, start a savings habit," 29 Mar. 2021 Your competitive spirits are in fine fettle, and your ability to take the lead is enhanced during the upcoming four to five weeks. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Jan. 5, 2021: Leo, work diligently, get results; Libra, pull out all the stops to impress," 5 Jan. 2021 Fincher places it at San Simeon, the plush stronghold of William Randolph Hearst (Charles Dance, in excellent fettle), where Mankiewicz was often invited, in the nineteen-thirties. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Mank” and the Making of “Citizen Kane”," 13 Nov. 2020 America’s most recent employment figures captured a jobs market in fine fettle: firms added 128,000 new workers in October, while unemployment held near historically low levels and wages rose at a respectable clip. The Economist, "Belligerent unions are a sign of economic health," 7 Nov. 2019 The Pole has started the league campaign in fine fettle, with five goals in just two matches masking what has been a relatively slow start to the season by Bayern's standards. SI.com, "Bayern Munich: Schalke May Have Been Dispatched But Die Roten Must Improve to Retain Bundesliga," 25 Aug. 2019 To avoid a repeat this year, organizers enlisted the help of a company that usually lays the tarmac for airport runways and the track remained in fine fettle throughout. Matias Grez, CNN, "Maximilian Günther claims Santiago ePrix to become youngest Formula E winner in history," 18 Jan. 2020 The Ritz, a smart London hotel where Margaret Thatcher spent her last days, is in fine fettle, turning a neat annual profit and valued in the region of £800m—not bad for a property bought for a piffling £75m in 1995. The Economist, "Who will buy Britain’s Telegraph?," 31 Oct. 2019 West Ham are ready to let go of striker Jordan Hugill in January despite him starting the Championship season in fine fettle. SI.com, "West Ham Ready to Sell Jordan Hugill in January Despite Strong Start to the Season," 8 Oct. 2019 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

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fettle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fettle. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of fettle

informal : a person's physical state or condition

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