rapid

adjective
rap·​id | \ ˈra-pəd How to pronounce rapid (audio) \

Definition of rapid

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: marked by a fast rate of motion, activity, succession, or occurrence

rapid

noun

Definition of rapid (Entry 2 of 2)

: a part of a river where the current is fast and the surface is usually broken by obstructions usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction

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Other Words from rapid

Adjective

rapidly adverb
rapidness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for rapid

Adjective

fast, rapid, swift, fleet, quick, speedy, hasty, expeditious mean moving, proceeding, or acting with celerity. fast and rapid are very close in meaning, but fast applies particularly to the thing that moves fast horses and rapid to the movement itself. rapid current swift suggests great rapidity coupled with ease of movement. returned the ball with one swift stroke fleet adds the implication of lightness and nimbleness. fleet runners quick suggests promptness and the taking of little time. a quick wit speedy implies quickness of successful accomplishment speedy delivery of mail and may also suggest unusual velocity. hasty suggests hurry and precipitousness and often connotes carelessness. a hasty inspection expeditious suggests efficiency together with rapidity of accomplishment. the expeditious handling of an order

Examples of rapid in a Sentence

Adjective There's been rapid growth in the number of new businesses in the town. Scientists are concerned about the rapid disappearance of the island's coral reefs. She carefully guided the boat through the rapid water.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Reporters from The Courier Journal traveled to Mexico, 15 American cities and five states to understand the rapid rise of CJNG — El Mencho’s brutal cartel — and how its reach affected small towns and cities across America. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, "How we did it: Go inside The Courier Journal's reporting on El Mencho at special event," 7 Feb. 2020 One celebrity who has experienced both a rapid rise to stratospheric fame and the pitfalls that this type of trajectory often entails is Justin Bieber. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Justin Bieber’s “Seasons,” and the Promise of the Celebrity Tell-All," 1 Feb. 2020 On both a per-hour and per-week basis, Vermont has seen the weakest wage growth of any state in the past decade, despite a rapid rise in the minimum wage and low unemployment. The Economist, "The road not taken As wages grow across America, one state is left behind," 30 Jan. 2020 While Berlin still has among the lowest rents of large German cities, proponents of the law argue that the city’s economy, marked by higher-than-average unemployment, is too weak to sustain such a rapid rise in the cost of living. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "Berlin Declares War on Rising Rents," 30 Jan. 2020 Her rapid rise in the cut-throat coaching profession doesn’t surprise those who knew her growing up. Dave Skretta, SFChronicle.com, "Trailblazing 49ers assistant Katie Sowers has roots in Chiefs territory," 25 Jan. 2020 Low risk, so far The rapid rise in severity and scope of the outbreak has stoked fears of a devastating pandemic and revived memories of the deadly outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003, which was also caused by a coronavirus. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "China locks down 35M people as US confirms second coronavirus case," 24 Jan. 2020 The crowd’s response underpinned Pressley’s rapid rise through Massachusetts politics, from Boston city councilor to Capitol Hill, unseating a 20-year congressman in the fall of 2018. Matt Stout, BostonGlobe.com, "Hate and white supremacy are ‘ruining this country,’ Ayanna Pressley says. Not identity politics," 20 Jan. 2020 When an asteroid slams into Earth, the rapid rise in temperature and pressure alters grains, leaving little laminations in the crystals that are sometimes visible to the naked eye. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "The 100-Year-Search for a Missing Impact Crater Is Over," 10 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Starting From Lumsden Bridge to Wards Ferry, a series of tricky rapids run one after another for 18 miles. Popular Science, "The 10 best canoe trips in the U.S. and Canada," 1 Jan. 2020 A few hours later, Dall sheep watch us splash through rapids from the grandstand of canyon walls. Christopher Solomon, New York Times, "Exploring a Timeless Wilderness, Before the Drilling Begins," 13 Sep. 2019 The same goes for tricky weather, exciting rapids, and killer fishing conditions. Popular Science, "The 10 best canoe trips in the U.S. and Canada," 1 Jan. 2020 Starting From Lumsden Bridge to Wards Ferry a series of tricky rapids run one after another for 18 miles. Ben Duchesney, Field & Stream, "The 10 Best Canoe Trips in North America," 26 Dec. 2019 Rodriguez marked the sixth death in Colorado waterways this year, as swollen rivers and turbulent rapids increase dangers. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "Rio Grande River in Mineral County closed to boats after rafter disappears," 28 June 2019 Many parents have taken their children to the rapids and told them about how in 1918, a team of volunteers saved two sailors after their boat had lurched dangerously close to one of the waterfalls’ edges. Christina Goldbaum, New York Times, "Boat Stuck at Niagara Falls Moves for First Time Since 1918," 5 Nov. 2019 From whitewater rapids to rapidly growing riverfront parks and shopping districts, the Cuyahoga River is surging, boosting Cuyahoga Falls and the Merriman Valley. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Ceremony celebrates Cuyahoga River’s journey from shame to pride 50 years after fire on water," 22 June 2019 From red-rock temples to rushing rapids, hiking through the Grand Canyon is a lesson in millions of years of geological history. Robert Earle Howells, National Geographic, "Discover the Grand Canyon's less-trafficked trails," 12 June 2019

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

Adjective

1634, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1765, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rapid

Adjective

Latin rapidus seizing, sweeping, rapid, from rapere to seize, sweep away; akin to Lithuanian aprėpti to embrace

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Time Traveler for rapid

Time Traveler

The first known use of rapid was in 1634

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Statistics for rapid

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rapid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rapid. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for rapid

rapid

adjective
How to pronounce rapid (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rapid

: happening in a short amount of time : happening quickly
: having a fast rate
: moving quickly

rapid

adjective
rap·​id | \ ˈra-pəd How to pronounce rapid (audio) \

Kids Definition of rapid

: very fast a rapid current rapid progress

Other Words from rapid

rapidly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on rapid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rapid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rapid

Spanish Central: Translation of rapid

Nglish: Translation of rapid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rapid for Arabic Speakers

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