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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Your heart rate will slightly quicken as you're caught in Apple's stirring voice mixed in with the throbbing drums and then settle into a soothing rhythm as the track closes off with gentle whispers that open the gate to dreams. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "20 of the Best Sleeping Songs to Listen to When You’re Lying Awake at Night," 26 Dec. 2020 Auction winners with no time to spare could also pay the incumbent satellite users larger fees to quicken their relocation. Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, "5G Auction Shatters Record as Bidding Tops $69 Billion," 23 Dec. 2020 Drawdowns of global oil inventories will quicken into the second quarter, assuming that OPEC+ delays its plan to ease output cuts in January. Laura Hurst, Bloomberg.com, "Iraq Committed to Energy Projects, Minister Says: Adipec Update," 10 Nov. 2020 Available in different heights, colors, and styles, the HD night sights are a self-luminous, three-dot night sight set that features a highly visible photo luminescent paint outline to quicken sight acquisition. Chris Mudgett, Outdoor Life, "The 9 Best Aftermarket Modifications for Your Concealed Carry Pistol," 8 Oct. 2020 The pace began to quicken for a countywide greenways-linear park hiking, biking and running trail system in 1992. Kevin Dayhoff, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Dayhoff: Westminster has long history of meeting citizen demands for green space, parks and recreation | COMMENTARY," 30 Oct. 2020 The bigger challenge was breathing normally when the pace started to quicken. Greg Luca, ExpressNews.com, "UTSA basketball holds first practices on march toward uncertain, ‘unfair’ season," 22 Oct. 2020 Zomorodi says no one would quicken an episode of The Office. Sharon Waters, Wired, "How to (Finally) Listen to All Those Podcasts in Your Queue," 1 Sep. 2020 The slow pace allowed Neptune’s Storm and Kiwi’s Dream, ridden by Juan Hernandez, to quicken over the final quarter-mile, and the winner hit the wire in 1:35.50. Larry Stumes, SFChronicle.com, "Neptune’s Storm wins San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields," 14 June 2020

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

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Quicken.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quicken. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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 quicken (audio) \

Medical Definition of quicken

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

More from Merriam-Webster on quicken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quicken

Nglish: Translation of quicken for Spanish Speakers

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