ac·cel·er·a·tor | \ik-ˈse-lə-ˌrā-tər, ak-\

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

Examples of accelerator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The program is led by gener8tor, a startup accelerator. Karen Herzog, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Northwestern Mutual partnering with UWM, Marquette to start data science institute," 20 June 2018 So, the new find pegs blazars as accelerators of at least some of the fastest-moving cosmic rays as well. Mike Wall, NBC News, "High-energy 'ghost particle' traced to distant galaxy in astronomy breakthrough," 12 July 2018 The first seeds of that transformation were on display Wednesday at a showcase of the inaugural Hartford InsurTech Hub, a program — known as an accelerator — that helped boost the growth of 10 startups. Rebecca Lurye,, "Hartford's Top Industries Work To Become Tech Magnets," 20 Apr. 2018 There’s more to this than repeatedly turning left and mashing the accelerator. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "Victory at Kentucky Speedway would be 'biggest win ever' for Ben Rhodes," 9 July 2018 It’s been named one of six Zero Energy Districts selected for a US Department of Energy accelerator project, launched in partnership with the National League of Cities to offer assistance for sustainable innovations. Jay Walljasper, WIRED, "The Bitter Battle to Turn an Old Factory Into a 21st Century 'Eco-Village'," 3 July 2018 The insurance sponsors have also agreed to spend $1.5 million to run the next two accelerators. Rebecca Lurye,, "With Worldwide Tour, Hartford Widens Search For InsurTech Talent," 3 July 2018 The car’s accelerator apparently got stuck, causing the vehicle to crash into some trees in Center Township (about 90 miles southeast of Cleveland), according to the news station. Crystal Hill, miamiherald, "Paramedic took money from dead man’s pocket, cops say. But someone was watching.," 3 July 2018 Also odd: Regenerative braking tries to recharge the batteries whenever your foot isn’t on the accelerator. Matthew Scott, Outside Online, "The Electric Jaguar I-Pace Can Go Off-Road," 9 July 2018

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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Statistics for accelerator

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accelerator

The first known use of accelerator was in 1611

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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 \

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- \

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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Comments on accelerator

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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