1 of 2


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


2 of 2


hasted; hasting

transitive verb

archaic : to urge on : hasten
with our fair entreaties haste them onWilliam Shakespeare
haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee jest and youthful jollityJohn Milton

intransitive verb

: to move or act swiftly
these minutes even now hasting into eternityWinston Churchill
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of haste in a Sentence

Noun The application had been approved with undue haste. made haste to get there on time
Recent Examples on the Web
After that, states and the leagues embraced gambling with unseemly haste. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2024 Neither team has threatened to leave the Kansas City area, but members of the public and legislator Manny Abarca have raised that possibility as reasons for haste in putting a measure on the ballot. Mike Hendricks, Kansas City Star, 22 Mar. 2024 What insights will future historians be able to glean about the personal lives and the character of our leaders in 50 years based on a few surviving emails written in haste with poor grammar and punctuation? Mary Divine, Twin Cities, 11 Feb. 2024 Maybe in their haste to flee, none had the time to grab their cellphones — which might explain why Baclig has yet to get a call. Bobby Caina Calvan, Chicago Tribune, 20 Aug. 2023 Don’t feel pressured to act in haste when thought and preparation are in your best interest. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, 13 Mar. 2024 My Sorrows Church, the service was carried out with what supporters said was unseemly haste. Catherine Belton, Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2024 In its haste, quality control appears to have suffered. Will Knight, WIRED, 29 Feb. 2024 The lengthy national security bill – the first draft ran to 212 pages – was rushed through the city’s opposition-less Legislative Council with unusual haste at the request of city leader John Lee and debated over just 11 days. Chris Lau, CNN, 19 Mar. 2024
Should this pocket-size French import be legal to park in your driveway, make all haste to bid. Brendan McAleer, Car and Driver, 17 Nov. 2022 But haste and carelessness in crafting the aid created a wellspring for fraud and waste - a mess that hundreds of federal investigators are still trying to clean up. Lisa Rein and Yeganeh Torbati, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Aug. 2022 Amanda, who went placidly amid the noise and haste up until that point, freaks out and throws a glass at Hannah. Brian Moylan, Vulture, 25 Feb. 2021 These Green New Deals and Green Revolutions are increasingly being seen as the only solution to meeting the climate, corona and credit crises at the scale and haste that science and justice require. Sophie Shnapp, refinery29.com, 5 Jan. 2021 If steady, mature Gerald Ford succumbed to haste when his presidency was on the line, imagine what Donald Trump will do. Rick Perlstein, Star Tribune, 3 Sep. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'haste.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of haste was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near haste

Cite this Entry

“Haste.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/haste. Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: rapidity of motion or action
: reckless action
: eagerness to act that is not proper or suitable


2 of 2 verb
hasted; hasting
: hasten

More from Merriam-Webster on haste

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