accelerator

noun ac·cel·er·a·tor \ ik-ˈse-lə-ˌrā-tər , ak- \
|Updated on: 15 Jun 2018

Definition of accelerator

: one that accelerates: such as
a : a muscle or nerve that speeds the performance of an action
b : a device (such as a pedal) for controlling the speed of a motor vehicle engine
c : a substance that speeds a chemical reaction
d : an apparatus for imparting high velocities to charged particles (such as electrons)
e : an item of computer hardware that increases the speed at which a program or function operates
  • a graphics accelerator

Recent Examples of accelerator from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of accelerator


ACCELERATOR Defined for English Language Learners

accelerator

Definition of accelerator for English Language Learners

  • : a pedal in a vehicle that is pressed down to make the vehicle go faster

  • : a machine that causes charged particles (such as electrons and protons) to move at extremely high speeds


ACCELERATOR Defined for Kids

accelerator

noun ac·cel·er·a·tor \ ak-ˈse-lə-ˌrā-tər \

Definition of accelerator for Students

: a pedal in an automobile for controlling the speed of the motor

Medical Dictionary

accelerator

noun ac·cel·er·a·tor \ ik-ˈsel-ə-ˌrāt-ər, ak- \

medical Definition of accelerator

: one that accelerates: as
a : a muscle or nerve that speeds the performance of an action
  • a cardiac accelerator
b : a substance that speeds a chemical reaction
c : an apparatus for imparting high velocities to charged particles (as electrons)


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

widely and unfavorably known

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a-closeup-of-a-sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!