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 Outdoor outfitter Moosejaw, owned by Walmart Inc., is taking applications from Northwest Arkansas startups for its business accelerator program. Serenah Mckay, Arkansas Online, 6 Jan. 2022 Samsung's C-Lab startups — the company's internal accelerator program — didn't disappoint this year, with some unusual but delightful products. Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN, 4 Jan. 2022 Buried in the story was a fascinating detail: The cofounders had signed up to go through the three-month Y Combinator accelerator program. Steven Levy, Wired, 21 Dec. 2021 On top of those worries, investors are watching to see if the Federal Reserve might ease off the accelerator on its support for the economy. Yuri Kageyama, ajc, 21 Sep. 2021 The drivetrain has a setting that increases regenerative braking when the driver lifts their foot off the accelerator. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 18 Sep. 2021 Also, not everyone will prefer Porsche's take on regenerative braking, which differs from virtually every other EV in that it's activated via the brake pedal rather than by simply letting off the accelerator. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, 19 May 2021 Much of Forever Ware’s work has been grant funded from organizations like local startup accelerator Launch Minnesota and even Minneapolis’ Hennepin County. Cinnnamon Janzer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 24 Nov. 2021 Duflock first met Burro’s founders while working as a mentor for the Thrive agriculture startup accelerator. Khari Johnson, Wired, 5 Nov. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near accelerator



accelerator mass spectrometry

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Statistics for accelerator

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Accelerator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for accelerator



English Language Learners Definition of accelerator

: 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


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)

More from Merriam-Webster on accelerator

Nglish: Translation of accelerator for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of accelerator for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about accelerator


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