celerity

noun
ce·​ler·​i·​ty | \sə-ˈler-ə-tē, -ˈle-rə-\

Definition of celerity 

: rapidity of motion or action Celerity of movement is vital in war.

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

In the novel Of Human Bondage, W. Somerset Maugham tells of an undertaker's shop that used the words "Economy, Celerity, Propriety" as part of a window display involving "silver lettering on a black cloth" and "two model coffins." But celerity isn't dead in English writing, where it has proven its vitality since the Middle Ages. Shakespeare used it in Henry V when the chorus recited, "Thus with imagin'd wing our swift scene flies, / In motion of no less celerity / Than that of thought." Benjamin Franklin used it as a synonym of "velocity." And the speedy term (which can be traced back to celer, a Latin word meaning "swift") is still keeping pace today.

Examples of celerity in a Sentence

a journalist who writes his well-crafted stories with remarkable celerity

First Known Use of celerity

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for celerity

Middle English celerite, borrowed from Anglo-French celeritee, borrowed from Latin celeritāt-, celeritās from celer "swift, speedy" + -itāt-, -itās -ity — more at accelerate

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about celerity

Listen to Our Podcast about celerity

Statistics for celerity

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for celerity

The first known use of celerity was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

More from Merriam-Webster on celerity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with celerity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for celerity

Comments on celerity

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!