accelerate

verb
ac·​cel·​er·​ate | \ -lə-ˌrāt \
accelerated; accelerating

Definition of accelerate 

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
3a : to hasten the progress or development of accelerate our efforts
b : increase accelerate food production
4a : to enable (a student) to complete a course in less than usual time
b : to speed up (something, such as a course of study)

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Personal computers began appearing in offices in the 1980s but didn’t accelerate productivity until much later. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "U.S. retailers hope higher pay will buy more efficient workers," 1 Jan. 2019 Global greenhouse gas emissions reached a record high in 2018 and are accelerating higher. Umair Irfan, Vox, "World leaders are working out a climate deal in Poland — despite Trump," 14 Dec. 2018 The powerful storm will make a close pass to Taiwan late Tuesday into early Wednesday (local time) before accelerating toward the eastern coast of China, poised to make landfall Wednesday morning (local time) about 300 miles south of Shanghai. Greg Porter, Washington Post, "Typhoon Maria, lashing Taiwan with strong winds and heavy rain, is headed for China’s east coast," 10 July 2018 If pathogens either initiate or accelerate Alzheimer’s, then classes of drugs that have never been considered for the disease should be in play. Sharon Begley, STAT, "New study supports long-dismissed idea: Herpes viruses could play role in Alzheimer’s," 21 June 2018 China has been accelerating construction and militarisation in the Spratly and Paracel islands claimed by Vietnam, and in March pressured Hanoi to suspend some major offshore oil drilling for the second time in the space of a year. Martin Petty, The Christian Science Monitor, "China's reach fuels illegal protests in Vietnam," 19 June 2018 Rivian says that both vehicles can accelerate from zero to 60 in three seconds flat, and can reach 100 mph in under seven seconds. Kraig Becker, Popular Mechanics, "Rivian's Electric Truck and SUV Are Built to Tackle the Great Outdoors," 27 Nov. 2018 Improvements in energy intensity will have to accelerate from an average of 1.8 percent a year from 2010 to 2015 to an average of 2.8 percent a year through 2050. David Roberts, Vox, "What genuine, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like," 8 Oct. 2018 These lasers could accelerate the robotic nanoprobes to 20 percent the speed of light, Breakthrough Starshot team members have said, so the craft could reach nearby exoplanet systems just decades after launch. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Student Project Scans Sky for Alien Laser Beams," 29 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accelerate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of accelerate

circa 1522, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for accelerate

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"

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Statistics for accelerate

Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accelerate

The first known use of accelerate was circa 1522

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More Definitions for accelerate

accelerate

verb
ac·​cel·​er·​ate | \ ak-ˈse-lə-ˌrāt \
accelerated; accelerating

Kids Definition of accelerate

1 : to move or cause to move faster The car accelerated going downhill.
2 : to cause to happen more quickly Using plant food accelerates growth.

accelerate

verb
ac·​cel·​er·​ate | \ ik-ˈsel-ə-ˌrāt, ak- \
accelerated; accelerating

Medical Definition of accelerate 

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

accelerate

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

Legal Definition of accelerate 

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 suspended— J. J. White and R. S. Summers

Other Words from accelerate

acceleration noun

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