v. fas·tened, fas·ten·ing, fas·tens
1. To attach firmly to something else, as by pinning or nailing.
a. To make fast or secure: fastened the children into their car seats.
b. To close or connect securely, as with a lock or other device: was unable to fasten the bulging suitcase.
3. To fix or direct steadily: fastened her gaze on the stranger.
4. To place; attribute: fastened the blame on the weather.
5. To impose (oneself) without welcome.
a. To become attached, fixed, or joined: barnacles that had fastened to the ship's bottom.
b. To close or join in a particular manner: tent flaps that fasten with a zipper; a shirt that fastens down the front.
a. To focus one's sight or attention on something: fasten on a notion.
b. To select something by close attention: "By April he had fastened on the site where he would erect his grand city" (Charles Officer).
[Middle English fastnen, from Old English fæstnian; see past- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: fasten, anchor, fix, moor1, secure
These verbs mean to cause to remain firmly in position or place: fastened the cabinet to the wall with screws; anchored the pull-up bar to the door frame; fixed the flagpole in concrete; will moor the rowboat at the dock; secured the door with a heavy bolt.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.