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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Six of Hartford’s mayoral candidates participated in a two-hour, rapid-fire debate Tuesday night, covering everything from government accountability and education to tiny homes and trolleys. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "Bankruptcy, tiny homes and trolleys: Catch 8 key moments from the West End’s Hartford mayoral debate," 27 June 2019 Think of it as comedy speed-dating or a rapid-fire mini-festival. John Wenzel, The Know, "Comedy legends Steve Martin and Martin Short are teaming up for 3 Front Range shows in July," 26 June 2019 In a rapid-fire round, all candidates were asked: What is America’s greatest geopolitical threat? Dave Orrick, Twin Cities, "Amy Klobuchar had 8 minutes, 16 seconds to speak to America. Here’s how she spent them.," 26 June 2019 The use of machine guns and rapid-fire field artillery pieces forced soldiers on both sides, the Allies and the Central Powers, to bore intricate trench systems into the ground. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, "Explore These World War I Trenches and Tunnels in France and Belgium," 25 June 2019 Across the country, in spare hotel conference rooms and bustling campaign offices, many of the 20 Democrats who will debate Wednesday and Thursday have spent long hours holding their own debate simulations and rapid-fire policy drills. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Stand-Ins, Push-Ups, Long Drives: How the 2020 Candidates Are Preparing for the Debates," 24 June 2019 As the show progresses, there's a growing sense of chaos, illustrated through rapid-fire clips of bank failures and international tensions. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Years and Years' charts chaotic future through one family," 24 June 2019 In confident, rapid-fire English the duo argue that climate change should be treated with realism. The Economist, "Debating contests teach Chinese students an argument has two sides," 15 June 2019 To me, the real heroes are Alexandria Police Department officers Nicole Battaglia, Alexander Jensen and Kevin Jobe, who did not hesitate to rush into a chaotic scene of rapid-fire gunfire. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al.com, "Rep. Mo Brooks honored for ‘bravery’ in 2017 shooting," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Stand-up paddleboarding is also popular beyond the rapids. Washington Post, "Why you should visit Columbus, Ohio," 13 June 2019 With scenic bike paths, whitewater rapids and countless peaks to summit, Colorado is known for adventure. Monica Parpal Stockbridge, The Know, "5 summer adventures crafted around craft beer," 12 June 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rapid

Statistics for rapid

Last Updated

2 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rapid

The first known use of rapid was in 1634

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!