Definition of fasten in US English:

fasten

verb

[with object]
  • 1Close or join securely.

    ‘fasten your seat belts’
    • ‘Please fasten your seat belts securely and observe all safety precautions.’
    • ‘"Please fasten your seatbelt and prepare for take-off, " the operator announced.’
    • ‘After they entered, he turned and securely fastened the various bolts which lined the edge of the door.’
    • ‘She slid the lid over them and wanted to fasten the clasp.’
    • ‘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 ran down the stairs and walked out the door before I fastened it behind me.’
    • ‘Attach the paper to the frame by wrapping the paper neatly around the frame and fastening it securely.’
    • ‘I smooth out my tie and shrug on my blazer, quickly fastening the button.’
    • ‘Carefully he wrapped his heavy traveling cloak over his shoulders and fastened the neck clasp.’
    • ‘Shaking herself out of her trance, she proceeded to fasten the necklace.’
    • ‘I double-checked to make sure my seatbelt was tightly fastened.’
    • ‘I arrived in a pair of pants, and by that last day, those pants were not fastening.’
    • ‘She made sure his seatbelt was securely fastened before closing the door on him.’
    • ‘Once I had fastened the seatbelt and closed the door, Jason flicked a small switch on the dashboard, and the machine roared to life.’
    • ‘Lydia fastened the cloth door closed and took inventory of the room.’
    • ‘So please fasten your seatbelts so we can begin our descent.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He would take the blame for not fastening the lock securely, or perhaps leaving the boy unattended.’
    • ‘Alex stopped fastening the buttons on his shirt and held a hand up.’
    bolt, lock, secure, make secure, make fast, chain, seal
    buckle, join, do up, connect, couple, close, unite, link
    become closed, close, do up
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    1. 1.1no object Be closed or done up in a particular place or part or in a particular way.
      ‘a blue nightie that fastens down the back’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She waddles up to the stage in her purple quilt she has fastened around her shoulders.’
      • ‘Plants are propagated from cuttings fastened to the ground.’
      • ‘Part in the center, then fasten snugly at the nape of your neck for easy elegance.’
      • ‘A blue plaque fastened into the wall publicises the office's past as the dining room in the home of journalist Henry Morton Stanley.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A scolex, or a hold-fast organ, on the anterior end of the tapeworm fastens to the intestinal walls.’
      • ‘We drove home with a green boat perched atop a white wooden box of camping gear, fastened to a blue Volkswagen.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Each uses various combinations of concrete, wood, rubber, and fiberglass fastened to the river bottom.’
    2. 1.2 Fix or hold in place.
      ‘she fastened her locket around her neck’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her golden-spun hair was loosely fastened in a clasp, and she held a small glass in her hand.’
      • ‘She wrapped a shawl around her arms and fastened a veil to her hair.’
      • ‘Fiona fastened her hair into a bun, tucked a small coin purse into her pocket, and threw her cloak over her shoulders.’
      • ‘She quickly fastened her helmet onto her head and tucked her long hair in.’
      • ‘She was fastening some of her hair up with glittery clips while the rest cascaded down her neck and back.’
      • ‘I was fastening my necklace around my neck when Jordan knocked on the door.’
      • ‘I did the same, because I had already fastened my arm tight around his waist.’
      • ‘Bhutanese women wear the kira, a woven dress that is fastened at each shoulder by silver buckles.’
      • ‘She gave it to Henriette, who put down the book and fastened the locket around her neck.’
      • ‘Piling her hair up on her head, she styled it and fastened it with several pins.’
      • ‘She was at the vanity, fastening her pale blonde hair into a bun that was already unraveling.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was a 31-page black and white booklet fastened with staples.’
      • ‘She pushed her hair back and fastened it with a clip at the base of her neck, breathing deeply.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She then fastened her belt around her waist, sheathing her dagger in its pouch.’
      attach, fix, affix, clip, pin, tack
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    3. 1.3fasten something on/upon Direct one's eyes, thoughts, feelings, etc., intently at.
      ‘Maggie fastened her eyes on him’
      no object ‘speculation fastened on three candidates’
      • ‘Almost instinctively the parents drew into a tight group, moving to a safe distance, eight pairs of eyes fastening their gaze on the deck.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I have to fasten my gaze on a clump of brown hair she holds between her teeth.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He sat down carefully, and fastened his eyes on his glass desktop.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Keiko stole a final glance at Jiro before fastening her eyes on the teacher.’
      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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    4. 1.4fasten something on/upon Ascribe responsibility to.
      ‘blame hadn't been fastened on anyone’
      ascribe to, attribute to, assign to, chalk up to, impute to
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    5. 1.5fasten on/uponno object Single out (someone or something) and concentrate on them or it obsessively.
      ‘the critics fastened on two sections of the report’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is true that the human imagination fastens on to single personalities, not casualty statistics.’
      • ‘These are secular eschatological fantasies we have fastened on as we have lost faith in the only True Eschaton, who is Jesus.’
      • ‘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.’
      single out, concentrate on, focus on, select, pick out, fix on, seize on
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English fæstnian ‘make sure’, also ‘immobilize’, of West Germanic origin; related to fast.

Pronunciation

fasten

/ˈfæs(ə)n//ˈfas(ə)n/