ac·​cel·​er·​a·​tion | \ ik-ˌse-lə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce acceleration (audio) , (ˌ)ak- \

Definition of acceleration

1a : the act or process of moving faster or happening more quickly : the act or process of accelerating rapid acceleration the acceleration of economic growth
b : ability to accelerate a car with good acceleration
2 physics : the rate of change of velocity with respect to time broadly : change of velocity

Examples of acceleration in a Sentence

The car delivers quick acceleration. There has been some acceleration in economic growth. There has been an acceleration in economic growth.
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Recent Examples on the Web This is why healthcare is so ripe for sustained acceleration, beyond the pandemic. Esteban López, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 Quick acceleration and a roach-like propensity to scatter sideways when provoked are the charms of such a lightweight vehicle. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 13 Sep. 2021 Some were alarmed by the train’s breakneck acceleration and screeching stops, but none pulled the emergency brake. New York Times, 27 Aug. 2021 The Ravens viewed Queen and Harrison as a complementary blend of smooth acceleration and blunt force coming out of the 2020 draft. Childs Walker,, 15 Aug. 2021 After a lap or two around a twisting race track at speeds reaching 160 miles per hour, where fast acceleration and hard braking are repeated over and over, a battery can begin to give out. CNN, 13 Aug. 2021 The decline marked a sharp acceleration from the 16.5% revenue drop in the first quarter and an 11.2% drop in the fourth quarter of 2020. Dan Strumpf, WSJ, 6 Aug. 2021 Branson, who turns 71 this month, has gone through rigorous tests to prepare for the experience, enduring a centrifuge simulating extreme acceleration and a parabolic flight to induce weightlessness., 11 July 2021 Squat and dive from acceleration and braking are minimal, but bump absorption is good. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 30 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acceleration.' 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 acceleration

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for acceleration

borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French acceleratiun, borrowed from Latin accelerātiōn-, accelerātiō, from accelerāre "to accelerate" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns

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Time Traveler for acceleration

Time Traveler

The first known use of acceleration was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near acceleration



acceleration coefficient

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Statistics for acceleration

Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Acceleration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for acceleration


ac·​cel·​er·​a·​tion | \ ak-ˌse-lə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce acceleration (audio) \

Kids Definition of acceleration

: the act or process of speeding up


ac·​cel·​er·​a·​tion | \ ik-ˌsel-ə-ˈrā-shən, (ˌ)ak- How to pronounce acceleration (audio) \

Medical Definition of acceleration

1 : the act or process of accelerating : the state of being accelerated
2 : change of velocity also : the rate of this change
3 : advancement in mental growth or achievement beyond the average for one's age


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