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Does anyone have an idea? Close friends? I usually see this term in stories where the friends were best friends and then they fight for some reason.

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Usain Bolt is fastest human (according to TIME mag) and if he is your friend then he is your fast[est] friend. :) –  Rakesh Juyal Oct 31 '10 at 11:55
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@Rakesh:then he would be fastest,I am searching for a 'fast friend'. –  Fahad Uddin Oct 31 '10 at 15:16
    
ah! my bad –  Rakesh Juyal Nov 3 '10 at 5:23
    
*smiles.......! –  Fahad Uddin Nov 3 '10 at 7:08

2 Answers 2

up vote 18 down vote accepted

From Merriam-Webster:

fast
[...]
2 : firmly loyal <became fast friends>

From Wiktionary:

Of people: steadfast, with unwavering feeling. (Now only in set phrases like "fast friend".) [from 10th c.]

Etymonline provides some background:

O.E. fæst "firmly fixed, steadfast, secure, enclosed," probably from P.Gmc. *fastuz (cf. O.Fris. fest, O.N. fastr, Du. vast, Ger. fest)

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interetsing, i always thought "they became fast friends" meant "they quickly became friends" –  Claudiu Oct 31 '10 at 0:13
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@Claudiu: that would be "they became friends fast" or "they fast became friends". Note how you didn't write "they became quickly friends". An adverb doesn't really fit in there. –  RegDwigнt Oct 31 '10 at 0:24
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With the meaning of "firmly fixed", "fast" is also used in the phrase "stuck fast", to mean really, really stuck. –  Steve Melnikoff Nov 1 '10 at 10:11
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@Steve: and let us not forget "fasten your seatbelts". –  RegDwigнt Nov 1 '10 at 10:17
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I always thought that meant "make your seatbelts go faster!" –  Rahul Nov 27 '10 at 1:06

The sense of "fast" here is almost obsolete; it's the "fast" of "steadfast," as noted by RegDwight above. It means "tight" or "secure," and you'll see it in literature in expressions like "hold fast" meaning to "get a tight grip" (on something). "Hold fast to your dreams" means to keep them close and never let them go.

Which is exactly what you should do with a good friend.

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