from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The condition or quality of being fast, especially.
  • noun Firmness; security.
  • noun Rapidity; swiftness.
  • noun The quality or condition of color retention; colorfastness.
  • noun A secure or fortified place; a stronghold.
  • noun A remote, secret place.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state or quality of being fast, in any sense.
  • noun Synonyms Speed, Swiftness, etc. See quickness.
  • noun The state of being fast and firm or fixed; firm adherence.
  • noun Strength; security.
  • noun A stronghold; a fortress or fort; a fortified place; a castle.
  • noun . Closeness or conciseness, as of style.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The state of being fast and firm; firmness; fixedness; security; faithfulness.
  • noun A fast place; a stronghold; a fortress or fort; a secure retreat; a castle.
  • noun obsolete Conciseness of style.
  • noun The state of being fast or swift.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A secure or fortified place; a stronghold, a fortress
  • noun The state of being fast.
  • noun The ability of a dye to withstand fading

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the quality of being fixed in place as by some firm attachment
  • noun a rate (usually rapid) at which something happens
  • noun a strongly fortified defensive structure


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • But fastness is nothing unless you have accuracy too.

    Test Your Reaction Time 2009

  • But fastness is nothing unless you have accuracy too.

    Test Your Reaction Time 2009

  • Between their mountain fastness and the dearly loved spring lay the host of the Philistines; but their love for their leader feared no enemies.

    A Book of Golden Deeds 1864

  • She was a robber baroness; she dwelt in a rocky "fastness" -- whatever that was -- surrounded by a crew of outlaws as desperate as any that ever drew cutlass and dagger, and she ruled them not only by native strength of character, but also by the aid of other forces, for she was on friendly terms with the more prominent wood sprites, fairies, and the like, and they brought her wisdom.

    Flowing Gold Rex Ellingwood Beach 1913

  • During the long and taxing journey up into the high mountain fastness where the Huntress’s people dwell, I came to view this less as an epigram and more as an axiom.

    Duet « A Fly in Amber 2010

  • Christianity; and this necessarily draws on and engages them in a dispute of the particular points and differences betwixt us; which is the very thing they would avoid by this method, and which I have now plainly shewed they cannot do, because they cannot possibly prove their church to be the true church, with out shewing the conformity of their doctrines and practices to the doctrine and practice of the primitive and apostolic church; and this will give them work enough; and will, whether they will or no, draw them out of their hold and fastness, which is to amuse people with a general inquiry which is the true church, without descending to the examination of their particular doctrines and practices.

    The Works of Dr. John Tillotson, Late Archbishop of Canterbury. Vol. 04. 1630-1694 1820

  • She said it had once belonged to the fastest woman in South Africa, who had given it to her as a joke, but she did not mention the lady's name, nor say in what her "fastness" consisted.

    Blue Aloes Stories of South Africa Cynthia Stockley

  • Having baffled them all, she laughed scornfully, flung deceit to the winds, then hurried straight to the "fastness," and there uttered the tribal call.

    Flowing Gold Rex Ellingwood Beach 1913

  • ` But that's a different kind of fastness, 'Alice objected.

    Through the Looking Glass 1899

  • Scotch blood, even beyond the bounds of ordinary "fastness," the fact of his being fond of Brook was not of itself a guarantee that the latter was such a very good young man as his mother said that he was.

    Adam Johnstone's Son 1881


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  • (The Time Traveller, lately alert to the danger of the Morlock's nocturnal depredations, sought refuge) "...that I might find some fastness for my sleep" H.G.Wells' "The Time Machine".

    January 29, 2007