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)

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In the surf at the mouth of the Eel River in Northern California, the Aleka accelerated quickly and caught waves with ease. Dylan Silver, Outside Online, "The Best Stand-Up Paddleboards of 2018," 5 July 2018 County officials accelerated the project, agreed to pay overtime for weekend work, and crews had mild winter weather. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Will County dedicates new public safety complex," 26 June 2018 The long-running project is in some ways an unorthodox addition to the rapidly accelerating field of artificial intelligence research. Cade Metz, Steve Lohr, Anchorage Daily News, "IBM unveils computer that 'debates' with humans," 19 June 2018 Although Greenland and West Antarctic ice is already melting at an accelerating rate, East Antarctica is—for now—relatively stable (except the Totten Glacier). Howard Lee, Ars Technica, "What happened last time it was as warm as it’s going to get later this century?," 18 June 2018 The accelerating demise of diesel, long used by carmakers to boost fuel efficiency, is undermining their plans to meet looming European Union CO2 goals, and avoid big annual fines. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested in Germany as Volkswagen emissions scandal lingers," 18 June 2018 For one, the Tesla Roadster already accelerates and brakes incredibly quickly, and the new Roadster is supposedly one of the fastest cars in the world, with a 0–60 time of 1.9 seconds. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Here’s how Elon Musk might use rocket thrusters on the new Tesla Roadster," 16 June 2018 His lab recently came up with an evolution-accelerating PACE system for base-editing enzymes. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Inside a Chemist’s Quest to Hack Evolution and Cure Genetic Disease," 12 June 2018 The car accelerated rapidly before crashing, although there were signs of braking, police said. Caitlin Keating, PEOPLE.com, "Tennessee Couple Killed in Car Crash Hours After Leaving Relative's Funeral Service," 11 June 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.

See More

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"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about accelerate

Share accelerate

Statistics for accelerate

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accelerate

The first known use of accelerate was circa 1522

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on accelerate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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