Definition of fastness in English:



  • 1A secure place well protected by natural features.

    ‘a remote Himalayan mountain fastness’
    • ‘They lost the first by a big margin and drew the second 3 all in their mountain fastness.’
    • ‘Even in a region famous for inaccessible high country stations, it's a fastness.’
    • ‘I'm definitely going to attend the lecture next Friday, which will draw me out of my remote fastness in the western wilderness to some proximity to civilization.’
    • ‘It whinges and begs as it retreats, and we, from the fastness of our concrete-and-steel high-rise castles, despise it.’
    • ‘As, indeed, did the original inhabitants of the Cinque Terre: even after they moved downhill from their mountain fastnesses, most locals continued to work the land.’
    • ‘Years ago when he first started work on the river, he was involved in fisheries protection, a job which took him up the Kilmastulla and Mulcair rivers into the mountain fastnesses of North Tipperary.’
    • ‘Conversely, at other times, the various cycles cancel one another out, the planet warms as a result, and the ice sheets retreat to their polar fastnesses.’
    • ‘Rommel's army had to be worn down, and if it had been allowed to withdraw intact into the mountain fastnesses of Tunisia, securing a decisive land victory in North Africa would have been rendered immensely difficult.’
    • ‘We returned to our remote northern fastnesses to find that the Apparitional Gamekeeper had been busy.’
    • ‘No city or village or mountain fastness was spared.’
    • ‘Talking of dying, he had always been fascinated by the Barents Sea - that desolate and gloomy stretch of water between the Arctic snows and the fastnesses of Siberia.’
    • ‘From time to time, he visited the manikin and presented him with scrolls written in a secret language to provide him with a library in the fastness of his attic retreat.’
    • ‘The Alpine fastnesses of Dauphiné, to the east, certainly did not tempt them to stray off, with their high, cold valleys and largely pastoral economy.’
    • ‘Ten years later eight of the world's most advanced practitioners of Buddhist meditation finally left their remote mountain fastness, bound for the clinical environment of a US laboratory.’
    • ‘In Ireland, surveying techniques facilitated something like the kind of vision that Derricke imagined: a colonial eye which could open up the rebel fastness, leaving the land available for sight and exploitation.’
    • ‘But if the original word in Russian was krepost, it could be translated equally well as a fastness.’
    • ‘She describes the remote mountain fastnesses between Afghanistan and Pakistan and tells the tragic tale of a runaway young bride bought as a wife for a tribal man.’
    • ‘The sparrow had flown south from Tennessee into the mountain fastness of the upper Paint Rock Valley in North Alabama where it had contracted aviomycosis and was terminally ill.’
    • ‘The issue of common rights, access to land, and self-provisioning had been settled in favor of wage labor by 1700 in all but the rural fastnesses of the Scottish highlands.’
    • ‘A nature trail crossed it and vanished into the fastnesses of the jungle.’
    firmness, solidity, steadiness, secureness, strength, fastness, stoutness, sturdiness, security, safety
    View synonyms
  • 2[mass noun] The ability of a material or dye to maintain its colour without fading or washing away.

    ‘the dyes differ in their fastness to light’
    • ‘Many of the colors were not fast, although there is not agreement in the literature on fastness properties of the various dyes.’
    • ‘Moreover, the sizing does not impact the hand of the fabric or the wash fastness of garments, the company reported.’
    rapidity, swiftness, speediness, alacrity, quickness, fastness, celerity, velocity, dispatch, promptness, immediacy, expeditiousness, expedition, briskness, sharpness
    View synonyms


Old English fæstnes (see fast, -ness).