speed

noun
\ ˈspēd How to pronounce speed (audio) \

Definition of speed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : prosperity in an undertaking : success
2a : the act or state of moving swiftly : swiftness
b : rate of motion: such as
(2) : the magnitude of a velocity irrespective of direction
c : impetus
3 : swiftness or rate of performance or action : velocity sense 3a
4a : the sensitivity of a photographic film, plate, or paper expressed numerically
b : the light-gathering power of a lens or optical system
c : the time during which a camera shutter is open
5 : a transmission gear in automotive vehicles or bicycles usually used in combination a ten-speed bicycle
6 : someone or something that appeals to one's taste just my speed
7 : methamphetamine also : a related stimulant drug and especially an amphetamine
at speed
chiefly British
up to speed
: operating at full effectiveness or potential

speed

verb
sped\ ˈsped How to pronounce sped (audio) \ or speeded; speeding

Definition of speed (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a archaic : to prosper in an undertaking
b archaic : get along, fare
2a : to make haste sped to her bedside
b : to go or drive at excessive or illegal speed
3 : to move, work, or take place faster : accelerate the heart speeds up

transitive verb

1a archaic : to cause or help to prosper : aid
b : to further the success of
2a : to cause to move quickly : hasten
b : to wish Godspeed to
c : to increase the speed of : accelerate
3 : to send out speed an arrow

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Other Words from speed

Noun

speedster \ ˈspēd-​stər How to pronounce speedster (audio) \ noun

Verb

speeder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for speed

Noun

haste, hurry, speed, expedition, dispatch mean quickness in movement or action. haste applies to personal action and implies urgency and precipitancy and often rashness. marry in haste hurry often has a strong suggestion of agitated bustle or confusion. in the hurry of departure she forgot her toothbrush speed suggests swift efficiency in movement or action. exercises to increase your reading speed expedition and dispatch both imply speed and efficiency in handling affairs but expedition stresses ease or efficiency of performance and dispatch stresses promptness in concluding matters. the case came to trial with expedition paid bills with dispatch

Examples of speed in a Sentence

Noun

This instrument measures wind speed. The machine was operating at high speed. traveling at nearly the speed of light Under the right conditions the car can reach speeds over 200 miles an hour. The vehicle maintained a speed of 40 miles per hour. The work was done with remarkable speed. This computer works at a much faster processing speed than my old one. The machine chops up tree branches and leaves with speed and ease.

Verb

A group of kids sped past us on their bikes. They jumped in the car and sped away. A car was speeding down the street. An ambulance sped her to the hospital. I got pulled over twice last month because I was speeding on the highway.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

While speeds were impressively in the 400Mbps to 600Mbps range, finding and maintaining a signal was extremely difficult. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Verizon announces Galaxy S10 5G preorders and 20-city 5G expansion, but it’ll cost you," 25 Apr. 2019 Beat dough with an electric mixer fitted with dough hook on low speed, 5 minutes (dough will be sticky). Taylor Murray, Country Living, "Rooibos-Blueberry-Glazed Donut Holes," 19 Mar. 2019 With Microsoft and Google, fidelity will always be limited by your internet speed—not to mention, any data caps your ISP’s put in place. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Steam Link Anywhere lets you play your Steam library on the go," 14 Mar. 2019 Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 3 minutes. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Chamomile-Mascarpone Tart With Fresh Strawberries," 19 Mar. 2019 Transfer mixture to a bowl and, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat 1 minute to cool slightly. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Coconut Cream Éclairs," 7 Mar. 2019 Add vanilla or other flavoring (and gel food coloring if desired), and mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Alison Roman, The Seattle Times, "‘We are all connected by cookies’: A tribe with a bond stronger than royal icing," 12 Dec. 2018 The previous Razer Blade Stealth maxed out at a quad-core Kaby Lake R Core i7-8550U with a base clock speed of 1.8GHz to 4GHz. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Razer's Blade Stealth gets a long-awaited upgrade to GeForce graphics and a Whiskey Lake CPU," 4 Dec. 2018 Beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "Be Ambitious This Thanksgiving: 3 Bold Recipes From One of L.A.’s Most Talked About Restaurants," 2 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rub on a hydrocortisone cream: A mild topical steroid like Cortizone-10 may speed up healing, according to the Mayo Clinic. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Rid of a Sunburn ASAP," 16 Apr. 2019 The technology only started appearing in games over the past six months or so, spurred on by a new generation of Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics cards that include hardware dedicated specifically to speeding up the task. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Why Sony's PlayStation 5 specs matter to PC gamers: Ryzen, Radeon, SSDs, and ray tracing," 16 Apr. 2019 In the fall of 2017, Mike Causey, a Republican who had been elected North Carolina’s insurance commissioner the year before, was trying to get up to speed on medical-insurance scams. Mark Maremont, WSJ, "How Official’s Undercover Role Led to Charges Against Billionaire," 4 Apr. 2019 And, as the confirmations of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito demonstrated, a justice who arrives at the Supreme Court mid-term can get up to speed quickly, and can cast key votes in cases that have already been argued, the experts have said. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Supreme Court set to begin new term with empty seat amid Kavanaugh uncertainty," 24 Sep. 2018 After speeding into the public markets on hot investor demand near the end of March, Lyft Inc. Corrie Driebusch, WSJ, "Lyft Shares Continue to Skid After IPO," 15 Apr. 2019 Compatible with Mac and Windows and a high-transfer speeds up to 550MB/s, this thing is great for any machine and file size and with terabyte storage instead of gigabyte, this hard drive should last you a long time. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Our Favorite External Hard Drive Is 60% Off Right Now," 15 Apr. 2019 Yet somehow within an hour, the whole circus, from snowball-hurling middle schoolers to wobbly kindergartners, is snowplowing, then speeding, downhill. Melody Warnick, Woman's Day, "These Small-Town Heroes Are Helping Their Communities Thrive," 2 Apr. 2019 After collapsing in the kitchen, Chris carried me to the car, and my mom sped through our small-town back roads to get me to hospital. Kate Gardner, SELF, "I Thought I Could Handle My Asthma Attacks, Until I Ended Up in the ER," 5 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'speed.' 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 speed

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for speed

Noun

Middle English spede, from Old English spēd; akin to Old High German spuot prosperity, speed, Old English spōwan to succeed, Latin spes hope, Lithuanian spėti to be in time

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Statistics for speed

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for speed

The first known use of speed was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for speed

speed

noun

English Language Learners Definition of speed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the rate at which someone or something moves or travels
: the rate at which something happens or is done
: the quality of being quick

speed

verb

English Language Learners Definition of speed (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move fast
: to move (someone or something) somewhere very quickly
: to drive faster than the legal speed limit

speed

noun
\ ˈspēd How to pronounce speed (audio) \

Kids Definition of speed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : quickness in movement or action
2 : rate of moving or doing a speed of 100 miles an hour

speed

verb
sped\ ˈsped \ or speeded; speeding

Kids Definition of speed (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to move or cause to move fast : hurry
2 : to go or drive at too high a rate of movement I got a ticket for speeding.
3 : to increase the rate of an action or movement How can we speed this process?
speed up
: to move more quickly

speed

noun
\ ˈspēd How to pronounce speed (audio) \

Medical Definition of speed

: methamphetamine also : a related stimulant drug and especially an amphetamine

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More from Merriam-Webster on speed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with speed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for speed

Spanish Central: Translation of speed

Nglish: Translation of speed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of speed for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about speed

Comments on speed

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