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fes·​ti·​nate ˈfe-stə-ˌnāt How to pronounce festinate (audio)
festinated; festinating
: hasten


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fes·​ti·​nate ˈfe-stə-nət How to pronounce festinate (audio)
: hasty
a most festinate preparationWilliam Shakespeare
festinately adverb

Did you know?

Festinate is one among many in the category of words whose early recorded use is in the works of William Shakespeare. He used it as an adjective (which is pronounced \FESS-tuh-nut\) in King Lear, for example: "Advise the Duke where you are going, to a most festinate preparation." Perhaps the Bard knew about festinatus, the Latin predecessor of festinate, or was familiar with the Latin proverb festina lente—"make haste slowly." Shakespeare also used the adverb festinately in Love's Labour's Lost: "Bring him festinately hither," Don Ariano de Armado orders. First evidence of the verb festinate, meaning "to hasten," occurs post-Shakespeare, however.

Word History



Latin festinatus, past participle of festinare to hasten; perhaps akin to Middle Irish bras forceful, Welsh brys haste

First Known Use


1556, in the meaning defined above


circa 1616, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of festinate was in 1556


Dictionary Entries Near festinate

Cite this Entry

“Festinate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/festinate. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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