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 In anticipation of more traffic as the area develops, the study recommends adding auxiliary lanes, also called acceleration/deceleration lanes, so vehicles have more space to merge. Mary Grace Keller,, "Medians, sidewalks, new lanes proposed in Maryland analysis of Md. 26 in south Carroll County," 16 Sep. 2020 Performance is plenty brisk thanks to 290 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque, the big six feeling impressively strong in its broad midrange and generating more than enough acceleration to easily outpace modern traffic. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation: Fake Guns, But a Real DB5," 11 Sep. 2020 Those tenths of a second saved provide faster acceleration. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "It’s the best sports car you can buy, and it’s a Chevy," 5 Sep. 2020 When the countdown expires, the Soyuz’s five engines spout fire into a flame trench under the pad, building acceleration until their collective force is strong enough to break the grip of 400 tons of counterweights. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How a Russian Rocket Launch Failed Spectacularly In Just 118 Seconds," 3 Sep. 2020 The rapid acceleration in GDP growth that Trump promised never materialized. Steve Chapman,, "Column: Trump doesn’t know how to revive the economy," 26 Aug. 2020 The next day, though, a Saturday, Santa Clara County, just down the peninsula, reported an alarming acceleration in cases: from 71 to 227 in just five days. Daniel Duane, Wired, "San Francisco Was Uniquely Prepared for Covid-19," 11 Aug. 2020 And several countries in Latin America, including Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and Peru, have seen an acceleration in the number of new cases over the past two to three weeks Beirut's hospitals were already buckling. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, August 5," 5 Aug. 2020 And the engine's moderate 155-hp output, combined with the Cruiser's 4823-pound weight, means that acceleration is poorer than the Jeep's or the Range Rover's. Phil Berg, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1990 Luxury Off-Road SUV Comparison," 2 Sep. 2020

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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Statistics for acceleration

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Acceleration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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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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