Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: fæstnian; related to FAST2

fasten

verb
     
fas‧ten
1

clothes/bag etc

also fasten up
a) [transitive] to join together the two sides of a coat, shirt, bag etc so that it is closed [= do up; ≠ unfasten]:
'I'm going now,' she said, fastening her coat.
Fasten your seat belt.
b) [intransitive] to become joined together with buttons, hooks etc [= do up]:
I was so fat that my skirt wouldn't fasten.
2

window/gate etc

[intransitive and transitive] to firmly close a window, gate etc so that it will not open, or to become firmly closed [≠ unfasten]:
Make sure all the windows are securely fastened before you leave.
3

attach something to something

[transitive] to attach something firmly to another object or surface
fasten something with something
Fasten the edges of the cloth together with pins.
fasten something to something
They fastened the rope to a tree.
4

hold something tightly

[intransitive and transitive] to hold something firmly with your hands, legs, arms, or teeth
fasten something around/round something
She fastened her arms around his neck.
fasten around/round
A strong hand fastened round her wrist.
fasten on/onto
Their long claws allow them to fasten onto the rocks and hold firm.
5

fasten your eyes/gaze on somebody/something

to look at someone or something for a long time:
He rose, his eyes still fastened on the piece of paper.
6

fasten your attention on somebody/something

to think a lot about one particular thing or person:
He was working quietly, all his attention fastened on the task.

fasten on/upon something

phrasal verb
to give particular attention to something because you think it is important or interesting:
My mother fastened on the word "unsafe".

fasten onto somebody/something

phrasal verb
1 to give particular attention to something because you think it is important or interesting
2 to follow someone and stay with them, especially when they do not want you to [= latch onto somebody]:
The dog seemed lost and fastened onto us.

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