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 Overall, the number of ultrahigh-net-worth individuals rose globally by 9.5% last year to nearly 291,000 individuals, a sharp acceleration from the previous year. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "The Richest Americans Recovered Most of Their Wealth After the Covid Outbreak," 7 Oct. 2020 Those consumers that have the ability to spend increasingly want to do it from home, marking a dramatic acceleration of a shift toward digital that has troubled the retail sector for years. Jordyn Holman,, "Election, Pandemic Are One-Two Punch in Retail’s Most Crucial Season," 6 Oct. 2020 But most drivers will find the acceleration is sprightly at speed, thanks to the electric motor’s easy-to-tap torque, even though this car feels underpowered for the most part. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Outstanding design and green credibility make Sonata Limited Hybrid a sedan to covet (review)," 3 Oct. 2020 Many experts have hailed Abbott’s new test as a huge milestone, and a rapid acceleration toward a plan that could give Americans back some sense of normalcy. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "America Is Entering a New Era of Coronavirus Testing," 28 Aug. 2020 In this sense, the great coronavirus disruption turns out to be a great acceleration. Frank Trentmann, The New Republic, "The Unequal Future of Consumption," 10 Aug. 2020 If history is any guide, the LHC will be operated as a booster for any future, larger proton colliders, getting the particles up to decent speeds before they're transferred into the larger ring for a final acceleration. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Europe officially sets its sights on a giant LHC successor," 25 June 2020 Jokic has the vertical acceleration of a cruise ship. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The NBA Playoffs Are Really a Space Race," 25 Sep. 2020 Ford said the electric pickup will have dual electric motors, will support over-the-air updates, and will provide more horsepower and torque and the fastest acceleration of any F-150 currently on the market. Laura Sky Brown, Car and Driver, "2023 Ford F-150 EV Aiming for Big Power, Small Maintenance Costs," 17 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

13 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Acceleration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 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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