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

Nurses admitted to overmedicating patients to quicken their deaths and secure higher payments from Medicare, resulting in several overdose deaths. Michael Kosnar, NBC News, "Hundreds of hospice centers in U.S. get failing grades," 9 July 2019 The trees’ harvesting accelerated around the turn of the last century, when new rail lines quickened the pace of the international lumber trade. Scott Wilson, Washington Post, "As threats to California’s giant redwoods grow, the key to their salvation might be in their complex genetic code.," 7 Feb. 2018 Asger regularly has to field other calls or questions from coworkers in between hearing directly from someone in the Iben situation, but every time the phone rings audience pulses quicken. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "The Guilty review: Even in 2018, a simple phone can be utterly thrilling," 21 Oct. 2018 Ford’s operating profit was about half that through the third quarter, at 4.4%, and some investors have said Ford chief Jim Hackett needs quicken efforts to revitalize the business. Allison Prang, WSJ, "Ford Gives Earnings Warning, Offers Less-Bullish 2019 Outlook," 16 Jan. 2019 Officials also discussed strategies for managing rates if growth quickens to an untenable pace that induces bubbles and high inflation. Orla Mccaffrey, WSJ, "U.S. Government Bond Prices Edge Lower," 5 July 2018 Torque remains the same at 258 pound-feet at 1500 rpm, which hits the sweet spot for quickening the heartbeat on a lightweight car (3,031 pounds) that is not fast but eminently fun. Robert Duffer, chicagotribune.com, "Car review: Volkswagen finally gives Golf GTI the tech it deserves," 5 June 2018 Investors increasingly expect quickening growth to give the Fed sufficient reason to continue with its quarterly pace of interest-rate increases through the first half of next year. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Close at Records," 20 Sep. 2018 Using the design-build method is expected to quicken the process and help the district complete the center in time for the 2019 swim season, said Tim Holcomb, district assistant superintendent and chief operating officer. Priscella Vega, latimes.com, "Newport-Mesa OKs $2-million budget increase for delayed Estancia High aquatic center," 31 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for quicken

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for quicken

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

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More Definitions for quicken



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quicken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quicken

Spanish Central: Translation of quicken

Nglish: Translation of quicken for Spanish Speakers

Comments on quicken

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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