noun \ ˈhāst \
Updated on: 8 Apr 2018

Definition of haste

1 : rapidity of motion : swiftness
  • out of breath from haste
  • —Jane Austen
  • We must make haste.
2 : rash or headlong action : precipitateness
  • She sent the letter in haste and later regretted it.
  • the beauty of speed uncontaminated by haste
  • Harper's
3 : undue eagerness to act
  • In their haste to leave for the airport, they forgot their passports.

Examples of haste in a Sentence

  1. The application had been approved with undue haste.

  2. made haste to get there on time

Recent Examples of haste from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'haste.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of haste

Middle English, from Anglo-French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English hǣst violence

Synonym Discussion of haste

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




Definition of haste

hasted; hasting
archaic : to urge on : hasten
  • with our fair entreaties haste them on
  • —William Shakespeare
  • haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee jest and youthful jollity
  • —John Milton
: to move or act swiftly
  • these minutes even now hasting into eternity
  • —Winston Churchill

Origin and Etymology of haste

see 1haste

HASTE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of haste for English Language Learners

  • : speed of motion or action : quickness or eagerness that can result in mistakes

HASTE Defined for Kids


noun \ ˈhāst \

Definition of haste for Students

1 : quickness of motion or action : speed
  • He left in haste.
2 : hasty action
  • Haste makes waste.

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to speak or write verbosely and windily

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