Definition of fettle in English:



  • [mass noun] Condition.

    ‘Marguerite was in fine fettle’
    • ‘During the remaining 15 minutes of the contest Carlow were in fine fettle and led by the impressive Brendan Lawler, Pat Coady and Damien Roberts had a strong platform to launch scores.’
    • ‘Just as an aside, Perry Forde, despite nicotine withdrawals was in fine fettle and led her team to victory in a riveting match-up led by quizmaster Billy Varley who also had to make the supreme sacrifice.’
    • ‘The popular lady from Ballyglass, Scardaune was in fine fettle and was delighted that so many friends came along to share in the celebrations.’
    • ‘On Thursday, the PGA chief executive gave the impression to the local press that the English bid was in fine fettle, whereas the widespread view is that the race is between Scotland and Wales.’
    • ‘That voice is in fine fettle, Ry Cooder guests on the title track, and Taylor's morose version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas was an American hit post-September 11.’
    • ‘Ross Comm, currently a 25-1 chance with William Hill, is reported to be in fine fettle after winning his last two races by a combined distance of 34 lengths.’
    • ‘Padraig McHugh from Lissatava was in fine fettle too, entertaining the gathering with a ‘sceal’ or two from back the years.’
    • ‘But the man who has reignited the ‘Ballyteague Blaze’ certainly looked in fine fettle on final day.’
    • ‘He is in fine fettle, saying he's doing very well.’
    • ‘After we left the eye doctor's, Zachery was in fine fettle.’
    • ‘The captain, former England wicket keeper Lea Ames could not play much because of an injury but vice captain Frank Worrell was in fine fettle.’
    • ‘Lumb also looked in fine fettle and he had galloped on to 33 by the close when Wood was 109 and their third wicket stand worth 111 in 22 overs.’
    • ‘Pride & Prejudice boasts a terrific ensemble cast that includes Donald Sutherland as Mr Bennet and Dame Judi Dench in fine fettle as Darcy's formidable aunt Lady Catherine de Bourgh.’
    • ‘There's more to the stream now, tall reeds with purple plumes one side, the frizzy remnants of fireweed the other, and oaks, especially a huge one by the path, probably as old as the Howards and in fine fettle.’
    • ‘Mersey Docks remains in fine fettle financially, and steadfastly independent.’
    • ‘When his serve and his forehand are not in fine fettle there is very little left of Roddick's game.’
    • ‘Although hardly a work of sophistication, this section of Dens Park is nevertheless in fine fettle, having been considerably refurbished during the 1990s.’
    • ‘Relatives and neighbours were joined by staff members in making this a special occasion for the popular Ellie who was in fine fettle and enjoyed all the festivities.’
    • ‘It is one of the world's top international companies with some 200 million customers worldwide, and has emerged from the late 1990s telecoms bubble in fine fettle.’
    • ‘And it pays dividends - you'll see yields increase, your worm and insect populations swell, and get a sense of satisfaction knowing that your soil is in fine fettle.’
    shape, trim, fitness, physical fitness, health, state of health
    condition, form, repair, state of repair, state, order, working order, way
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  • 1 Trim or clean the rough edges of (a metal casting or a piece of pottery) before firing.

    • ‘The bench rabbets seen at the bottom of the photograph would not be much easier to fettle.’
    • ‘Others have fully finished designs which could have been used for impressing wax masters, or casting lead versions that were then fettled to a fine finish, encased in clay and fired.’
    • ‘Likewise, the headlamps are, most unusually, dropped into an aperture in the front wings - one of the few composite panels - and these have to be fettled individually to final fit.’
    1. 1.1Northern English Make or repair (something).
      • ‘I'll be in the back garden, fettling the bike.’
      • ‘They have also fettled the suspension, aiming to regain the driving dynamics benchmark which many commentators say was overtaken by Ford's Focus when it first arrived.’
      • ‘Although I eventually got used to fettling a 5th Element, the Curnutt is much simpler to adjust with large, clearly marked dials.’
      • ‘We fettled our lights and had a snack to decide on how to progress.’
      • ‘My carbide light was very dim by now so I stopped to fettle it.’
      • ‘However all this performance came at a price. I was constantly fettling the car.’
      • ‘The end result was that I spent a couple of hours yesterday fettling me bikes out in the back garden.’
      • ‘And, like my own car, the lowered suspension causes it to tramline on certain surfaces, a sure sign a car has been fettled a percentage too far.’
      • ‘The GS300 is fettled with an all-aluminium 216 bhp six-cylinder engine that moves the car from nought to 62 mph in 8.2 seconds, and maximum torque of 294Nm is delivered at 3,800 rpm.’
      • ‘The budget should easily run to a decent MGB convertible which will have been properly restored at some stage in its life and should be reliable enough for everyday use, providing you can find someone to fettle it for you.’
      • ‘After all, this car spent a lot of time being fettled on the famous Nürburgring.’
      • ‘Last year people travelled from all over including Chamaniox and Lyon for us to fettle their bike and particularly their disc brakes.’
      • ‘I couldn't understand why as I had not half an hour earlier fettled it.’
      • ‘I have owned a 205 GTI before, a 1.6 from late 1986 bought for a song in 1997 and too-expensively fettled back into fair form.’
      repair, mend, patch up, put right, put to rights, set right, get working, make as good as new, see to
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Late Middle English (as a verb in the general sense ‘get ready, prepare’, specifically ‘prepare oneself for battle, gird up’): from dialect fettle ‘strip of material, girdle’, from Old English fetel, of Germanic origin; related to German Fessel chain, band.