ac·​cel·​er·​a·​tor | \ ik-ˈse-lə-ˌrā-tər How to pronounce accelerator (audio) , ak- \
plural accelerators

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 gas pedal) for increasing 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

Examples of accelerator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The drugmaker expects to deliver all the doses to U.S. vaccine and drug accelerator Operation Warp Speed by July 31. Riley Griffin, Fortune, "Pfizer to supply U.S. with 100 million more vaccine doses," 23 Dec. 2020 One of them is Sterling Bay, which has launched Prysm Institute, an incubator and accelerator for startups in life sciences, heath care and technology. Ryan Ori,, "COVID-19 has devastated Chicago real estate, but it’s amplified calls for equity. Will 2021 be a year of progress on the South and West sides?," 17 Dec. 2020 Because Zoox's vehicle doesn't have a steering wheel or brake and accelerator pedals, testing it is more complicated. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, "Here's the robotaxi Amazon wants you to ride around in," 14 Dec. 2020 Starting with just $20,000 from Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator in 2013, DoorDash has spent years tinkering with its operations to lower costs. Fortune, "After a blockbuster IPO, DoorDash’s challenge now is to deliver profits," 14 Dec. 2020 Performance is brisk at urban speeds—with the accelerator pedal delivering an instant surge—but tailing off beyond 60 mph. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "2020 Honda e Does Fun Better than Most EVs," 3 Nov. 2020 That gives the Fishers Test Kitchen time to find a restaurant concept for the accelerator space. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, "Neal Brown is bringing his smash burgers to Fishers Test Kitchen for a few months," 14 Oct. 2020 The car had a rock tied to the accelerator, according to police. Michael Wetzel The Decatur Daily, al, "Dying man who confessed to 1995 Alabama murder free on bail," 1 Dec. 2020 The funding pool and the accelerator are among the latest corporate efforts to connect Black entrepreneurs to venture capital. Jared Council, WSJ, "Northwestern Mutual Targets Resources to Black Tech Founders," 30 Nov. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of accelerator

1611, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for accelerator

accelerate + -or entry 1

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Time Traveler for accelerator

Time Traveler

The first known use of accelerator was in 1611

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Statistics for accelerator

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Accelerator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for accelerator


How to pronounce accelerator (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of accelerator

: a pedal in a vehicle that is pressed down to make the vehicle go faster
technical : a machine that causes charged particles (such as electrons and protons) to move at extremely high speeds


ac·​cel·​er·​a·​tor | \ ak-ˈse-lə-ˌrā-tər How to pronounce accelerator (audio) \

Kids Definition of accelerator

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


ac·​cel·​er·​a·​tor | \ ik-ˈsel-ə-ˌrāt-ər, ak- How to pronounce accelerator (audio) \

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)

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