speed

noun
\ ˈspēd How to pronounce speed (audio) \

Definition of speed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : prosperity in an undertaking : success
2a : the act or state of moving swiftly : swiftness
b : rate of motion: such as
(2) : the magnitude of a velocity irrespective of direction
c : impetus
3 : swiftness or rate of performance or action : velocity sense 3a
4a : the sensitivity of a photographic film, plate, or paper expressed numerically
b : the light-gathering power of a lens or optical system
c : the time during which a camera shutter is open
5 : a transmission gear in automotive vehicles or bicycles usually used in combination a ten-speed bicycle
6 : someone or something that appeals to one's taste just my speed
7 : methamphetamine also : a related stimulant drug and especially an amphetamine
at speed
chiefly British
up to speed
: operating at full effectiveness or potential

speed

verb
sped\ ˈsped How to pronounce sped (audio) \ or speeded; speeding

Definition of speed (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a archaic : to prosper in an undertaking
b archaic : get along, fare
2a : to make haste sped to her bedside
b : to go or drive at excessive or illegal speed
3 : to move, work, or take place faster : accelerate the heart speeds up

transitive verb

1a archaic : to cause or help to prosper : aid
b : to further the success of
2a : to cause to move quickly : hasten
b : to wish Godspeed to
c : to increase the speed of : accelerate
3 : to send out speed an arrow

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Other Words from speed

Noun

speedster \ ˈspēd-​stər How to pronounce speedster (audio) \ noun

Verb

speeder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for speed

Noun

haste, hurry, speed, expedition, dispatch mean quickness in movement or action. haste applies to personal action and implies urgency and precipitancy and often rashness. marry in haste hurry often has a strong suggestion of agitated bustle or confusion. in the hurry of departure she forgot her toothbrush speed suggests swift efficiency in movement or action. exercises to increase your reading speed expedition and dispatch both imply speed and efficiency in handling affairs but expedition stresses ease or efficiency of performance and dispatch stresses promptness in concluding matters. the case came to trial with expedition paid bills with dispatch

Examples of speed in a Sentence

Noun

This instrument measures wind speed. The machine was operating at high speed. traveling at nearly the speed of light Under the right conditions the car can reach speeds over 200 miles an hour. The vehicle maintained a speed of 40 miles per hour. The work was done with remarkable speed. This computer works at a much faster processing speed than my old one. The machine chops up tree branches and leaves with speed and ease.

Verb

A group of kids sped past us on their bikes. They jumped in the car and sped away. A car was speeding down the street. An ambulance sped her to the hospital. I got pulled over twice last month because I was speeding on the highway.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 3 minutes. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Chamomile-Mascarpone Tart With Fresh Strawberries," 19 Mar. 2019 Transfer mixture to a bowl and, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat 1 minute to cool slightly. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Coconut Cream Éclairs," 7 Mar. 2019 Add vanilla or other flavoring (and gel food coloring if desired), and mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Alison Roman, The Seattle Times, "‘We are all connected by cookies’: A tribe with a bond stronger than royal icing," 12 Dec. 2018 The previous Razer Blade Stealth maxed out at a quad-core Kaby Lake R Core i7-8550U with a base clock speed of 1.8GHz to 4GHz. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Razer's Blade Stealth gets a long-awaited upgrade to GeForce graphics and a Whiskey Lake CPU," 4 Dec. 2018 Beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "Be Ambitious This Thanksgiving: 3 Bold Recipes From One of L.A.’s Most Talked About Restaurants," 2 Nov. 2018 Remove from heat and, using an electric mixer, beat on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until glossy, soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Redbook Test Kitchen, Redbook, "Marshmallow Ghosts," 19 Sep. 2018 The tendency to hold high gears also shows up in lagging downshifts that delay throttle response for passing at highway speeds. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Review: 2019 Jetta is Volkswagen’s best compact sedan," 12 July 2018 Croatia just doesn’t have the speed anywhere to punish England, to turn a half chance into a good one, a breakout into a breakaway. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With Rio de Janeiro as its nexus, the local sound has evolved, and the new beat of funk carioca is sped up and supercharged, to approximately 150 beats per minute. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "Rio de Janeiro, Right Now: 5 Reasons to Visit the Extraordinary Brazilian City," 19 Mar. 2019 On the other hand, the Cub is a lot of machine that should speed your mowing to faster completion. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Cub Cadet CC 600 Is a Walk-Behind Lawn Mower That Means Business," 5 Mar. 2019 Already, scientists have found that Greenland’s ice melt is the main reason the rate of average sea level rise has sped up since 1993. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Greenland’s ice sheet is melting at its fastest rate in centuries," 8 Dec. 2018 The short clip starts with Pharrell on a motorcycle speeding through what seems to be a futuristic highway tunnel. Scarlett Newman, Teen Vogue, "Pharrell Teases His Upcoming Collaboration With Chanel," 25 Mar. 2019 While your decision process—and the process following that—may take you a while, this news may help speed things along. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "You Could Make $1,600 More If You Sell Your House During This Month," 21 Feb. 2019 Before that, airlines like Delta and British Airways were experimenting with using biometric tech to speed up things like boarding and bag drops. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Hertz plans slightly speedier rentals using facial recognition and fingerprints," 11 Dec. 2018 Developers can use Nvidia’s new Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) to speed things up even more. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "GeForce RTX 2080 will be 1.5x faster than GTX 1080 in traditional PC games, Nvidia says," 22 Aug. 2018 The Core+ branding was reserved for systems that shipped with both Core processors as well as Intel’s Optane Memory technology, which speeds up the other storage in your PC. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel kills Optane 'Core+' desktop processor bundles as 3D XPoint venture dissolves," 15 Jan. 2019

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for speed

Noun

Middle English spede, from Old English spēd; akin to Old High German spuot prosperity, speed, Old English spōwan to succeed, Latin spes hope, Lithuanian spėti to be in time

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Statistics for speed

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for speed

The first known use of speed was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for speed

speed

noun

English Language Learners Definition of speed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the rate at which someone or something moves or travels
: the rate at which something happens or is done
: the quality of being quick

speed

verb

English Language Learners Definition of speed (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move fast
: to move (someone or something) somewhere very quickly
: to drive faster than the legal speed limit

speed

noun
\ ˈspēd How to pronounce speed (audio) \

Kids Definition of speed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : quickness in movement or action
2 : rate of moving or doing a speed of 100 miles an hour

speed

verb
sped\ ˈsped \ or speeded; speeding

Kids Definition of speed (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to move or cause to move fast : hurry
2 : to go or drive at too high a rate of movement I got a ticket for speeding.
3 : to increase the rate of an action or movement How can we speed this process?
speed up
: to move more quickly

speed

noun
\ ˈspēd How to pronounce speed (audio) \

Medical Definition of speed

: methamphetamine also : a related stimulant drug and especially an amphetamine

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More from Merriam-Webster on speed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with speed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for speed

Spanish Central: Translation of speed

Nglish: Translation of speed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of speed for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about speed

Comments on speed

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