Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


adjective \ˈkwik\

Simple Definition of quick

  • : done or happening in a short amount of time

  • : fast in thinking, learning, or understanding

  • : fast in moving or reacting

Full Definition of quick

  1. 1 :  not dead :  living, alive

  2. 2 :  acting or capable of acting with speed: as a (1) :  fast in understanding, thinking, or learning :  mentally agile <a quick wit> <quick thinking> (2) :  reacting to stimuli with speed and keen sensitivity (3) :  aroused immediately and intensely <quick tempers> b (1) :  fast in development or occurrence <a quick succession of events> (2) :  done or taking place with rapidity <gave them a quick look> c :  marked by speed, readiness, or promptness of physical movement <walked with quick steps> d :  inclined to hastiness (as in action or response) <quick to criticize> e :  capable of being easily and speedily prepared <a quick and tasty dinner>

  3. 3 a archaic :  not stagnant :  running, flowing b :  moving, shifting <quick mud>

  4. 4 archaic :  fiery, glowing

  5. 5 obsolete a :  pungent b :  caustic

  6. 6 archaic :  pregnant

  7. 7 :  having a sharp angle <a quick turn in the road>

quick·ly adverb
quick·ness noun

Examples of quick

  1. They had a quick drink at the bar.

  2. She took a quick shower.

  3. She gave him a quick kiss.

  4. You're back already? That was quick!

  5. We made a quick decision, but it turned out to be a good one.

  6. He got a quick reply to his inquiry.

  7. His quick thinking allowed him to escape trouble.

  8. Her friends admired her quick wit.

  9. He walked with quick steps.

  10. She has quick, agile hands.

Origin of quick

Middle English quik, from Old English cwic; akin to Old Norse kvikr living, Latin vivus living, vivere to live, Greek bios, zōē life

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of quick

quick, prompt, ready, apt mean able to respond without delay or hesitation or indicative of such ability. quick stresses instancy of response and is likely to connote native rather than acquired power <quick reflexes> <a keen quick mind>. prompt is more likely to connote training and discipline that fits one for instant response <prompt emergency medical care>. ready suggests facility or fluency in response <backed by a pair of ready assistants>. apt stresses the possession of qualities (as intelligence, a particular talent, or a strong bent) that makes quick effective response possible <an apt student> <her answer was apt and to the point>.

synonyms see in addition fast




Definition of quick

  1. 1 quick plural :  living beings

  2. 2 [probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse kvika sensitive flesh, from kvikr living] a :  a painfully sensitive spot or area of flesh (as that underlying a fingernail or toenail) b :  the inmost sensibilities <hurt to the quick by the remark> c :  the very center of something :  heart

  3. 3 archaic :  life 11

Examples of quick

  1. <that nasty comment cut me to the quick>

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of quick

before 12th century




Simple Definition of quick

  • : in a fast or quick manner

Full Definition of quick

  1. :  in a quick manner

Examples of quick

  1. a scheme to get rich quick

  2. I got used to living with a roommate pretty quick.

  3. I can't run any quicker.

14th Century

First Known Use of quick

14th century

Seen and Heard

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


February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

100 pounds 2.2 pounds 196.5 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.