accelerate

verb

ac·​cel·​er·​ate ik-ˈse-lə-ˌrāt How to pronounce accelerate (audio)
ak-
accelerated; accelerating

intransitive verb

1
: to move faster : to gain speed
The car slowly accelerated.
The pace of change has accelerated in recent months.
2
: to progress from grade to grade more rapidly than usual : to follow a speeded-up educational program

transitive verb

1
: to bring about at an earlier time
Circumstances accelerated their departure.
2
: to cause to move faster
accelerated his steps
also : to cause to undergo acceleration
3
a
: to hasten the progress or development of
accelerate our efforts
b
: increase
accelerate food production
4
a
: to enable (a student) to complete a course in less than usual time
b
: to speed up (something, such as a course of study)

Examples of accelerate in a Sentence

She stepped on the gas and the car accelerated. The plane accelerated down the runway. She stepped on the gas and accelerated the car. He says that cutting taxes will help to accelerate economic growth. The rate of economic growth has continued to accelerate.
Recent Examples on the Web Or the cost of accelerating the destruction of our planet? Eva Roytburg, Fortune, 7 June 2024 Unfortunately, the level of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to accelerate, scientists from NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography announced yesterday. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 7 June 2024 The curriculum for medical schools was accelerated. Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2024 The bloc’s economic powerhouse, Germany, felt the impact acutely, so much so that the government’s efforts to accelerate the adoption of heat pumps became embroiled in the culture wars. Somini Sengupta, New York Times, 6 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for accelerate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'accelerate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Latin accelerātus, past participle of accelerāre "to add speed to, hasten the occurrence of, go quickly," from ad- ad- + celerāre "to hasten," verbal derivative of celer "swift, speedy," perhaps going back to *keli-li-/ri-, derivative from the Indo-European base of Greek kélomai, kelésthai "urge, exhort," kelēt-, kélēs "swift horse, charger"

First Known Use

circa 1522, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of accelerate was circa 1522

Dictionary Entries Near accelerate

Cite this Entry

“Accelerate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accelerate. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

accelerate

verb
ac·​cel·​er·​ate ik-ˈsel-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce accelerate (audio)
ak-
accelerated; accelerating
1
: to bring about earlier
accelerated our departure
2
: to move or cause to move faster
accelerative
-ˌrāt-iv
adjective

Medical Definition

accelerate

verb
ac·​cel·​er·​ate ik-ˈsel-ə-ˌrāt, ak- How to pronounce accelerate (audio)
accelerated; accelerating

transitive verb

: to cause to move faster or speed up
accelerated speech and motor activity in manic patients
also : to cause to undergo acceleration

intransitive verb

: to move faster : gain speed

Legal Definition

accelerate

verb
ac·​cel·​er·​ate
accelerated; accelerating

transitive verb

: to bring about at an earlier time: as
a
: to advance (the maturity date of a security agreement) so that payment of the debt in full is due immediately see also acceleration clause
b
: to cause (a future interest in property) to vest by removing the preceding interests (as by failure or premature termination)

intransitive verb

: to enforce an acceleration clause
held that the creditor's right to accelerate was suspendedJ. J. White and R. S. Summers
acceleration noun

More from Merriam-Webster on accelerate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!