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verb, quick·en \ˈkwi-kən\

Simple Definition of quicken

  • : to make (something) faster

  • : to become faster

  • : to make (something, such as a feeling) stronger or more active

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of quicken

quickenedquickening play \ˈkwi-kə-niŋ, ˈkwik-niŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to make alive :  revive b :  to cause to be enlivened :  stimulate

  3. 2 archaic a :  kindle b :  to cause to burn more intensely

  4. 3 :  to make more rapid :  hasten, accelerate <quickened her steps>

  5. 4 a :  to make (a curve) sharper b :  to make (a slope) steeper

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to quicken something

  8. 2 :  to come to life; especially :  to enter into a phase of active growth and development <seeds quickening in the soil>

  9. 3 :  to reach the stage of gestation at which fetal motion is felt

  10. 4 :  to shine more brightly <watched the dawn quickening in the east>

  11. 5 :  to become more rapid <her pulse quickened at the sight>

quickener play \ˈkwi-kə-nər, ˈkwik-nər\ noun

Examples of quicken in a sentence

  1. Stimulants can quicken the heart rate.

  2. His pulse quickened at the thought of seeing her again.

  3. The approach of the deadline quickened our sense of urgency.

  4. The drama quickened when police arrived at the scene.

14th Century

First Known Use of quicken

14th century

Synonym Discussion of quicken

quicken, animate, enliven, vivify mean to make alive or lively. quicken stresses a sudden renewal of life or activity especially in something inert <the arrival of spring quickens the earth>. animate emphasizes the imparting of motion or vitality to what is or might be mechanical or artificial <happiness animated his conversation>. enliven suggests a stimulus that arouses from dullness or torpidity <enlivened her lectures with humorous anecdotes>. vivify implies a freshening or energizing through renewal of vitality <new blood needed to vivify the dying club>.

synonyms see in addition provoke

Rhymes with quicken

QUICKEN Defined for Kids


verb quick·en \ˈkwi-kən\

Definition of quicken for Students


  1. 1 :  to make or become faster :  hasten <They quickened their steps.>

  2. 2 :  to make or become stronger or more active <Curiosity quickened my interest.>

Medical Dictionary


intransitive verb quick·en \ˈkwik-ən\

Medical Definition of quicken

quickened; quickening \-(ə-)niŋ\play

  1. :  to reach the stage of gestation at which fetal motion is felt

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up quicken? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tending to dismiss important matters

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