rapid

adjective
rap·​id | \ˈra-pəd \

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

The symptoms of a panic attack might include a rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, as well as headaches, abdominal pain, and chest pain. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Karamo Brown Says His Fiancé Had a 'Severe Anxiety Attack' That Sent Him to the Hospital," 29 Nov. 2018 Authorities are using a powerful tool in their effort to identify the scores of people killed by the wildfire that ripped through Northern California: rapid DNA testing that produces results in just two hours. Kathleen Ronayne, The Seattle Times, "‘We need hundreds’: Fire victims’ families urged to give DNA," 21 Nov. 2018 Rapidly rotating Wolf-Rayet stars are thought to give rise to long gamma ray bursts, in part because the heat of the core and their rapid rotation leave them on the cusp of bursting apart. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Scientists spot two massive stars creating a pinwheel of dust," 20 Nov. 2018 And yet, despite all the rapid development around the island’s main hubs to the south, vast swaths of the landscape remain pretty much undisturbed. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Finding the Bali You Came For," 16 Nov. 2018 What would follow was a rapid rise through the ranks, from becoming Timely’s interim editor while still a teenager to contributing to its most popular titles. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Remembering Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics Legend, Dies at 95," 12 Nov. 2018 Emma: Our team is fivereporters, and that's the rapid team. Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "Mara Liasson and Emma Brown Know the Advantages of Being a Female Journalist," 29 Oct. 2018 These rapid turns appeared to produce enough force to actually clear up that suspected blockage, and after repeating the procedure the backup gyro seems to be working perfectly. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Fixed Hubble the Same Way You Fix Your Computer," 23 Oct. 2018 If oceans warmed, this unfortunate topography could cause rapid and irreversible retreat. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, "East Antarctica's Sleeping Giant Awakes," 17 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Options range from an intro 3-mile float from Coloma to Lotus up to a 20-mile Class III ride over 20 named rapids from Chili Bar to Salmon Falls — and quite a few in between. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Sunday getaway to Coloma," 1 July 2018 Authorities say Mario Benassi, 23, was swimming with a group of friends in the rapids about 300 feet downstream from the South Fork Bridge, over which Highway 49 runs. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Yuba River rapids take another life near Highway 49," 27 June 2018 The scariest thing about whitewater rafting isn't actually going through rapids. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Whitewater rafting on the Wolf River is a wild thrill," 14 June 2018 Powerful rapids, boiling eddies, and rocks and drops requiring significant maneuvering, all without having to travel to the Rockies. Carla Minsky, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wetsuits, Whitewater and the Whoosh of Spring," 13 Apr. 2018 Fishing, kayaking, hiking Lees Ferry offers access to a 14-mile stretch of calm water before the river descends through its famous rapids. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Lees Ferry: Gateway to Grand Canyon rafting and the Colorado River," 9 July 2018 On May 27, a deluge dumped more than 6 inches of rain in less than three hours on Ellicott City, Maryland, killing one person and transforming Main Street into what looked like Class V river rapids, with cars tossed about like rubber ducks. Bill Gourgey, WIRED, "How Artificial Intelligence Could Prevent Natural Disasters," 10 July 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.

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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

3 Dec 2018

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 \

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

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