quick·​en | \ ˈkwi-kən How to pronounce quicken (audio) \
quickened; quickening\ ˈkwi-​kə-​niŋ How to pronounce quickening (audio) , ˈkwik-​niŋ \

Definition of quicken

transitive verb

1a : to make alive : revive
b : to cause to be enlivened : stimulate
2 archaic
a : kindle
b : to cause to burn more intensely
3 : to make more rapid : hasten, accelerate quickened her steps
4a : to make (a curve) sharper
b : to make (a slope) steeper

intransitive verb

1 : to quicken something
2 : to come to life especially : to enter into a phase of active growth and development seeds quickening in the soil
3 : to reach the stage of gestation at which fetal motion is felt
4 : to shine more brightly watched the dawn quickening in the east
5 : to become more rapid her pulse quickened at the sight

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Other Words from quicken

quickener \ ˈkwi-​kə-​nər How to pronounce quickener (audio) , ˈkwik-​nər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for quicken

quicken, animate, enliven, vivify mean to make alive or lively. quicken stresses a sudden renewal of life or activity especially in something inert. the arrival of spring quickens the earth animate emphasizes the imparting of motion or vitality to what is or might be mechanical or artificial. happiness animated his conversation enliven suggests a stimulus that arouses from dullness or torpidity. enlivened her lectures with humorous anecdotes vivify implies a freshening or energizing through renewal of vitality. new blood needed to vivify the dying club

synonyms see in addition provoke

Examples of quicken in a Sentence

Stimulants can quicken the heart rate. His pulse quickened at the thought of seeing her again. The approach of the deadline quickened our sense of urgency. The drama quickened when police arrived at the scene.
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Recent Examples on the Web Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney ordered the removal of all Confederate statues that sit on city land Wednesday, invoking emergency powers to quicken the process. Fox News, "Richmond starts dismantling Confederate statues from city land after mayor's order," 2 July 2020 Instead of letting the bill pass unanimously again, which would quicken the process, Paul objected. Tal Kopan, SFChronicle.com, "Kamala Harris calls Rand Paul’s objection to anti-lynching bill ‘cruel’," 4 June 2020 As the evidence of the Black community’s disproportionate loss of life under Covid-19 continues to mount, there might have been cause to hope that these shocking findings might somehow quicken the spirit of mutuality and human compassion. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, The New Republic, "The Unmattering of Black Lives," 21 May 2020 With non-oil growth quickening to the fastest since 2014, Saudi Arabia is looking to private businesses to help achieve an economic expansion of 2.3% this year. Abeer Abu Omar, Bloomberg.com, "Stalling Saudi Economy Ripe for Fiscal Rethink as Hurdles Mount," 8 May 2020 Bank Negara Malaysia expects price pressures to quicken in the coming months as the impact of a change in the consumption tax wanes. Masaki Kondo, Fortune, "The Inverted Yield Curve Looks Set to Go Global," 15 Aug. 2019 With her pulse-quickening visage, tantalizing purr of a voice, and willowy physique toned by boxing and judo, Ms. Blackman gained a foothold in British films in the late 1940s. Adam Bernstein, BostonGlobe.com, "Honor Blackman, actress who played a Bond woman in ‘Goldfinger,’ dies at 94," 7 Apr. 2020 But as morning follows night over this work’s 24-hour time-frame, the drama quickens. The Economist, "Time for a curtain call A new interpretation of “Street Scene”, a seminal dramatic musical," 3 Feb. 2020 For drivers who want something pulse-quickening, there's Audi Sport. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2020 Audi RS7—our all-time favorite fastback just got even better," 24 Sep. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for quicken

Time Traveler

The first known use of quicken was in the 14th century

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Statistics for quicken

Last Updated

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quicken.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quicken. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for quicken


How to pronounce quicken (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of quicken

: to make (something) faster
: to become faster
: to make (something, such as a feeling) stronger or more active


quick·​en | \ ˈkwi-kən How to pronounce quicken (audio) \
quickened; quickening

Kids Definition of quicken

1 : to make or become faster : hasten They quickened their steps.
2 : to make or become stronger or more active Curiosity quickened my interest.
quick·​en | \ ˈkwik-ən How to pronounce quicken (audio) \
quickened; quickening\ -​(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce quickening (audio) \

Medical Definition of quicken

: to reach the stage of gestation at which fetal motion is felt

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More from Merriam-Webster on quicken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quicken

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quicken

Spanish Central: Translation of quicken

Nglish: Translation of quicken for Spanish Speakers

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