Definition of fasten in English:



  • 1[with object] Close or do up securely.

    ‘the tunic was fastened with a row of gilt buttons’
    • ‘He would take the blame for not fastening the lock securely, or perhaps leaving the boy unattended.’
    • ‘So please fasten your seatbelts so we can begin our descent.’
    • ‘"Please fasten your seatbelt and prepare for take-off, " the operator announced.’
    • ‘Attach the paper to the frame by wrapping the paper neatly around the frame and fastening it securely.’
    • ‘I ran down the stairs and walked out the door before I fastened it behind me.’
    • ‘Carefully he wrapped his heavy traveling cloak over his shoulders and fastened the neck clasp.’
    • ‘I double-checked to make sure my seatbelt was tightly fastened.’
    • ‘Shaking herself out of her trance, she proceeded to fasten the necklace.’
    • ‘After they entered, he turned and securely fastened the various bolts which lined the edge of the door.’
    • ‘By the end of the suitcase's usefulness, age had worn the corners down to the cardboard but the hinges stayed in place and the snaps fastened.’
    • ‘Lydia fastened the cloth door closed and took inventory of the room.’
    • ‘She made sure his seatbelt was securely fastened before closing the door on him.’
    • ‘Alex stopped fastening the buttons on his shirt and held a hand up.’
    • ‘More and more children are driven around loose in the back or front of the car, often while the parents are securely fastened by seat belts.’
    • ‘I smooth out my tie and shrug on my blazer, quickly fastening the button.’
    • ‘Please fasten your seat belts securely and observe all safety precautions.’
    • ‘Once I had fastened the seatbelt and closed the door, Jason flicked a small switch on the dashboard, and the machine roared to life.’
    • ‘I arrived in a pair of pants, and by that last day, those pants were not fastening.’
    • ‘She slid the lid over them and wanted to fasten the clasp.’
    become closed, close, do up
    buckle, join, do up, connect, couple, close, unite, link
    bolt, lock, secure, make secure, make fast, chain, seal
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    1. 1.1[no object, with adverbial]Be closed or done up in a particular manner.
      ‘a blue nightie that fastens down the back’
      • ‘Picasso was 54 years old, dressed in an old suit, baggy trousers, beret and long scarf, his keys fastened to his belt and his money fastened inside his jacket pocket with a safety pin.’
      • ‘Coil up into a bun and fasten with pins.’
      • ‘With our borrowed rope and wood we lashed together a catapult of sorts, fastened between two saplings, counter balanced and with wound rope for extra spring.’
      • ‘And at each place she left her picture - taped on a bathroom mirror, tacked to a hotel bulletin board, fastened to a corner phone booth.’
      • ‘A scolex, or a hold-fast organ, on the anterior end of the tapeworm fastens to the intestinal walls.’
      • ‘Part in the center, then fasten snugly at the nape of your neck for easy elegance.’
      • ‘It fastens to your chest and not only records your heart rate information, but gives you a step-by-step instruction on what to do.’
      • ‘We drove home with a green boat perched atop a white wooden box of camping gear, fastened to a blue Volkswagen.’
      • ‘Each uses various combinations of concrete, wood, rubber, and fiberglass fastened to the river bottom.’
      • ‘Stainless steel arches, polished to a mirror finish, will be pieced together on the site and fastened to the main structure, which will then be hoisted across the river and fastened in place.’
      • ‘It fastens at the chest and belly, and holds practically a month's worth of kibble or - more likely - goodies for a weekend on the trail.’
      • ‘Plants are propagated from cuttings fastened to the ground.’
      • ‘‘Several people have come in and said this skirt would be perfect for the races,’ she says pointing to an unusual short yellow skirt, which fastens up the side.’
      • ‘The lamp on my desk is almost a smaller version of the streetlamp outside, the same gracefully bent head, the same bubble of electric light harnessed and fastened to a hood.’
      • ‘Chell's white wraparound skirt, reaching from beneath her arms to her ankles and fastened at the back, was pulled in by a blue sash around her waist.’
      • ‘The birds, or at least 20 of the 22 survivors, had radio transmitters fastened to their backs before he and his team released them on Saturday.’
      • ‘If he had the choice, the Master of the Rolls would favour dressing barristers and judges in an all-embracing continental gown which fastens down the front with Velcro.’
      • ‘A blue plaque fastened into the wall publicises the office's past as the dining room in the home of journalist Henry Morton Stanley.’
      • ‘She waddles up to the stage in her purple quilt she has fastened around her shoulders.’
      • ‘With a pointed stick on the nose of our helicopter, it was possible to spear a wooden ring twelve inches in diameter fastened to a pole only four feet from the ground.’
    2. 1.2[with object and adverbial]Fix or hold in place.
      ‘she fastened her locket round her neck’
      • ‘Fiona fastened her hair into a bun, tucked a small coin purse into her pocket, and threw her cloak over her shoulders.’
      • ‘She was fastening some of her hair up with glittery clips while the rest cascaded down her neck and back.’
      • ‘Bhutanese women wear the kira, a woven dress that is fastened at each shoulder by silver buckles.’
      • ‘She then fastened her belt around her waist, sheathing her dagger in its pouch.’
      • ‘She wrapped a shawl around her arms and fastened a veil to her hair.’
      • ‘She gave it to Henriette, who put down the book and fastened the locket around her neck.’
      • ‘Over her shoulders and arms she wears a short, pale blue cape, embroidered with one gold leaf on each side and fastened with a clasp.’
      • ‘She fastens it there with a strong hair elastic, and uses a hatpin to attach the cloth flower.’
      • ‘Magic hands produced a golden locket and fastened it around her neck.’
      • ‘He fastened the locket around her neck and looked to the sky.’
      • ‘Piling her hair up on her head, she styled it and fastened it with several pins.’
      • ‘After pulling her hair back into the half ponytail, she laid the hair net on her head on fastened it in place with delicate, almost invisible hair pins.’
      • ‘She pushed her hair back and fastened it with a clip at the base of her neck, breathing deeply.’
      • ‘She was at the vanity, fastening her pale blonde hair into a bun that was already unraveling.’
      • ‘Her golden-spun hair was loosely fastened in a clasp, and she held a small glass in her hand.’
      • ‘I made my way to the bathroom where I fished through piles of hair accessories until I found my giant clip with which I fastened my hair in a French twist.’
      • ‘I did the same, because I had already fastened my arm tight around his waist.’
      • ‘She quickly fastened her helmet onto her head and tucked her long hair in.’
      • ‘It was a 31-page black and white booklet fastened with staples.’
      • ‘I was fastening my necklace around my neck when Jordan knocked on the door.’
      attach, fix, affix, clip, pin, tack
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    3. 1.3Secure the end of a thread with stitches or a knot.
      ‘work the stitch and fasten off the thread’
  • 2[no object] Single out (someone or something) and concentrate on them or it obsessively.

    ‘the critics fastened upon two sections of the report’
    • ‘It is true that the human imagination fastens on to single personalities, not casualty statistics.’
    • ‘With so many essays covering a diversity of themes and ideas, it is hard to fasten on a single idea as the central theme of the collection.’
    • ‘When you're doing a high-tech type of job, working under pressure against impossible time-scales, you tend to fasten on something silly and obsessive to ease the strain.’
    • ‘These are secular eschatological fantasies we have fastened on as we have lost faith in the only True Eschaton, who is Jesus.’
    single out, concentrate on, focus on, select, pick out, fix on, seize on
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    1. 2.1[with object]Direct one's eyes, thoughts, etc. intently at.
      ‘his gaze was fastened on his daughter’
      [no object] ‘his eyes seemed to fasten on her’
      • ‘He sat down carefully, and fastened his eyes on his glass desktop.’
      • ‘Rebecca jerked her head towards him, as he fastened his own gaze on the road.’
      • ‘Even as she fastened her gaze upon the cloth-covered object, she heard someone approaching the camp, and knew Aldene had returned.’
      • ‘What I did do, I noticed, was to keep a very beady eye on him from across the room: waiting to see what kind of man he fastened his attentions on this time.’
      • ‘He stopped me and fastened his eyes upon my eyes.’
      • ‘Realising that he wasn't getting any money from me, he began to glance away, and fastened his eyes on a wallet that a gentleman who passed us had in his hand.’
      • ‘Wilhelm lifted his head and fastened his eyes on the darkened house for a long moment, as though etching that sight into his mind forever.’
      • ‘I fastened my eyes on the dishes on the waiter's hand, refusing to confirm if he was indeed staring at me with renewed interest.’
      • ‘Keiko stole a final glance at Jiro before fastening her eyes on the teacher.’
      • ‘Almost instinctively the parents drew into a tight group, moving to a safe distance, eight pairs of eyes fastening their gaze on the deck.’
      • ‘I have to fasten my gaze on a clump of brown hair she holds between her teeth.’
      focus, fix, be riveted, concentrate, zero in, zoom in, be brought to bear
      single out, concentrate on, focus on, select, pick out, fix on, seize on
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Old English fæstnian ‘make sure’, also ‘immobilize’, of West Germanic origin; related to fast.