has·ten | \ ˈhā-sᵊn \
hastened; hastening\ˈhās-niŋ, ˈhā-sᵊn-iŋ \

Definition of hasten 

intransitive verb

: to move or act quickly She hastened up the stairs.

transitive verb

1 : to encourage to move or act quickly : to urge on hastened her to the door —A. J. Cronin

2 : to cause to happen more quickly : accelerate His death was hastened by alcoholism. hasten the coming of a new order —D. W. Brogan

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Other words from hasten

hastener \ˈhās-nər, ˈhā-sᵊn-ər \ noun

Examples of hasten in a Sentence

His death was hastened by alcohol abuse. hasten the activation of yeast with heat

Recent Examples on the Web

Witnesses have shared competing theories about motive, but prosecutors have remained resolute that the victim’s skin color hastened his death. Christian Boone, ajc, "5 things to know about Spalding trial in murder of man dragged behind pickup truck," 16 June 2018 If the intention is relief of suffering, then the possibility of hastening an inevitable death cannot be prosecuted as a crime. Sallie Tisdale, Good Housekeeping, "Everything to Expect, Say, and Do When a Loved One Is About to Die," 13 June 2018 In the 2005 case of Florida woman Terri Schiavo, who was in a persistent vegetative state following an accident, the Catholic Church vocally opposed withholding artificial administration of food and water from Schiavo to hasten her death. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "David Goodall’s physician-assisted suicide raises wider questions.," 21 May 2018 Yaffe believes head trauma may cause abnormal proteins to accumulate, which hastens the development of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "Even milder concussions double dementia risk, UCSF study finds," 7 May 2018 America’s use of its new weapons simultaneously demonstrates its power and will hasten its relative decline. The Economist, "Zap! American officials can destroy foreign firms like gremlins on a screen," 5 May 2018 It is not prescribed to hasten death, as many people mistakenly believe. sandiegouniontribune.com, "10 things you need to know about hospice care," 24 Apr. 2018 Another member of the group expressed concern, however, saying her religion prohibited any efforts to hasten death. Jonel Aleccia, Philly.com, "Married 66 years and both terminally ill, this Oregon couple chose to die together," 9 Mar. 2018 Young people hastened to download VPNs, or virtual private networks. Trudy Rubin, Philly.com, "Generation Putin: Young Russians, who have never known life without him, imagine their future | Trudy Rubin," 3 May 2018

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

1568, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for hasten

see haste entry 1

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Phrases Related to hasten

hasten to add/say/explain (etc.)

Statistics for hasten

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hasten

The first known use of hasten was in 1568

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More Definitions for hasten



English Language Learners Definition of hasten

: to cause (something) to happen more quickly

: to move or act quickly


has·ten | \ ˈhā-sᵊn \
hastened; hastening

Kids Definition of hasten

: to move or cause to move or act fast : hurry I hastened to the exit.

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Comments on hasten

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


the setting in which something occurs

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