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

Other Words from quicken

quickener \ ˈkwi-​kə-​nər How to pronounce quicken (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.
Recent Examples on the Web His prose, like the river itself, has turns that quicken the pulse. Danny Heitman, WSJ, 28 July 2022 One of these changes is long overdue and will quicken the pace: Eight technical Oscars will no longer be awarded on camera. Kyle Smith, National Review, 26 Mar. 2022 Sweating is amplified when it’s hot and humid, and this can ultimately quicken the dehydration process during exercise. Patrick Wilson, Outside Online, 15 June 2020 Still, the White House reacted to the horror emerging from Ukraine by promising to quicken the pace of military, humanitarian and economic aid to Kyiv. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 5 Apr. 2022 Inflation can rise, grow, increase, accelerate, quicken, fall, slow, decelerate or ease. WSJ, 6 May 2022 These twins rust in the rain and quicken with lubricant. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 18 Jan. 2022 Chick-fil-A is instituting a change throughout the country in which runners will take food out to cars to try and quicken the wait in line. cleveland, 15 Feb. 2022 But the White House faces mounting pressure from various groups and lawmakers, who in recent days have called on the U.S. to take in more refugees from Ukraine and quicken the process. Angie Leventis Lourgos, chicagotribune.com, 19 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near quicken

quick decline


quickening liquid

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Statistics for quicken

Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Quicken.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quicken. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for quicken


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.


intransitive verb
quick·​en | \ ˈkwik-ən How to pronounce quicken (audio) \
quickened; quickening\ -​(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce quicken (audio) \

Medical Definition of quicken

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

More from Merriam-Webster on quicken

Nglish: Translation of quicken for Spanish Speakers


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