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 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 Kushner also lauded the Trump administration's efforts to quicken development and deployment of the vaccine through Operation Warp Speed, noting there are six different vaccine candidates that are beginning Phase 3 trials. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "Kushner says he has "no fear" about sending his kids back to school amid pandemic," 16 Aug. 2020 Cardiovascular exercise should quicken your breathing and heart rates to a challenging but manageable level. Dana Santas, CNN, "Get moving faster with cardio: How to reboot your workout routine," 10 Aug. 2020 Its removable battery pack powers a three-speed fan, which pumps air through 51 jets, helping quicken the burn and cut down on smoke. Popular Mechanics, "The Popular Mechanics 2020 Outdoor Awards," 30 June 2020 Thomas believes the week-in, week-out challenge of playing in the SEC will quicken his transition to the NFL. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Draft Board: Georgia’s Andrew Thomas believes facing SEC’s best has him prepared for NFL," 14 Apr. 2020 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

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

6 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quicken.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quicken. Accessed 25 Oct. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on quicken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quicken

Nglish: Translation of quicken for Spanish Speakers

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