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

Bacteria, viruses and other pathogens are small, with rapid reproductive rates compared to those of human beings. David P. Barash, WSJ, "‘Good Reasons for Bad Feelings’ Review: Suffering’s Silver Lining," 13 Feb. 2019 The nascent ice crystal and the surrounding water must be at different temperatures for this rapid freezing rate to occur. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Weird water phase “ice-VII” can grow as fast as 1,000 miles per hour," 24 Oct. 2018 Bones can help illuminate the biological features that allowed dinosaurs to get big, like air sacs and rapid growth rates. Brian Switek, Smithsonian, "The Most Massive of Dinos Evolved Earlier Than Previously Thought," 9 July 2018 In addition to its miniature size and rapid rate of intensification, Beryl is also notable for gaining hurricane strength so far east in the Atlantic so early in the season. Brian Mcnoldy, Washington Post, "Surprise! Beryl becomes season’s first hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean.," 6 July 2018 The Trump administration is trying a new tactic to recruit employees as White House staffers head for the exits at a rapid rate. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "'Interested in a Job at the White House?' The Trump Administration Looks to Fill Openings at Executive Branch Job Fair," 14 June 2018 Symptoms include rapid heart rate, lightheadedness, difficulty breathing, sleepiness, headache, skin that is pale and nails that are blue or gray. Jen Christensen, CNN, "FDA warns that benzocaine teething products aren't safe for children," 23 May 2018 China’s rapid technology-sector development was built on workers who were willing to endure a grueling schedule in return for high pay and a shot at becoming the next startup billionaire. Yoko Kubota And Shan Li, WSJ, "Backlash Brews in China’s Startup Culture Against Grueling Hours," 30 Apr. 2019 Over the course of the two-hour episode, each of the Top 24 contestants took the stage in a rapid-fire series of individual performances, with little commentary from the coaches in-between. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Fans Think This 'Voice' Commercial Was Better Than Any of the Top 24 Performances," 30 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The rocky portages around the rapids—sometimes as high as 6,000 feet—were strewn with moss and ferns made treacherously slick by the whitewater mist, and often took all day. Rinker Buck, WSJ, "Venturing Into the Great Northwest," 9 Mar. 2018 How Microsoft navigates the Windows 7 rapids could mean the difference between smooth sailing and users abandoning ship. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Windows 7 will use pop-ups to warn users of the operating system's impending death," 12 Mar. 2019 Frequently, the bows are under water in the rapids. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Lost Art of Floating Logs Down the River," 16 Feb. 2019 Grab one or simply float on your own down this series of small rapids in the middle of town. Brent Crane, Outside Online, "America's Best Swimming Holes," 1 July 2018 Wolf River, Menominee County Rafters in two- or three-person rafts take on a series of rapids ranging from Class II to Class IV on a scenic stretch of the Wolf River in Menominee County. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "3 places to go whitewater rafting in Wisconsin," 14 June 2018 In 4th was Nakamura, who had improved his standing from the rapids with his blitz play, but just not enough. Chris Chase, BostonGlobe.com, "Chess notes," 23 June 2018 The headwaters park is a magnet for rafters and kayakers, with rapids rated from easy to extremely difficult. Dan Elliott, chicagotribune.com, "Whitewater river in Colorado a bright spot amid grim drought," 21 May 2018 The New River in West Virginia strings together a series of incredible rapids. Peter Reese, Popular Mechanics, "Five Things to Know Before Running a Wild River," 11 Aug. 2017

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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Statistics for rapid

Last Updated

4 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rapid

The first known use of rapid was in 1634

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More Definitions for rapid

rapid

adjective

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rapid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rapid

Spanish Central: Translation of rapid

Nglish: Translation of rapid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rapid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rapid

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to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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