speed

noun
\ ˈspēd \

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 \ 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 \ 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

The Strava app records distance, speed, routes, and pace, so your stats are always a touch away. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "25 Best Workout and Fitness Apps to Stay Healthy in 2019," 1 Jan. 2019 For most of them, that has meant focusing on services in low-speed, geographically limited environments. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "The hype around driverless cars came crashing down in 2018," 30 Dec. 2018 These funds have been used to make payments where speed was important such as charitable donations in the wake of natural disasters or support for discounts on Nissan vehicles in regions experiencing sales problems, the person said. Sean Mclain, WSJ, "Carlos Ghosn Investigators Focus on Ties to Saudi Businessman," 27 Dec. 2018 The lawsuit, led by then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleged that speeds were up to 80 percent slower than advertised. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Charter-Spectrum reaches $174.2 million settlement in New York AG’s speed fraud lawsuit," 18 Dec. 2018 More details later While Intel disclosed its Sunny Cove and two follow up cores called Willow Core and Golden Core, hard details such as how many cores will be found in actual CPUs, and at what clock speeds, were held close to the vest. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Surprise! Intel reveals 10nm Sunny Cove CPU cores that go deeper, wider, and faster," 12 Dec. 2018 Using different speeds, pressure, and positions are good ways to figure out what feels right for you. Iman Hariri-kia, Teen Vogue, "Teens' Biggest Sex Questions Answered By Their Peers," 13 Nov. 2018 Add butter, oil, and yeast mixture and beat on low speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until dough becomes smooth elastic mass around hook, about 10 minutes. Cherry Point, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Homemade Saltine Crackers," 7 Aug. 2018 The Freedom-class littoral combat ships use two Colt Pielstick engines for everyday propulsion, but also run a pair of Rolls-Royce MT 30 gas turbines for high speed sprinting. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Two Years After Breakdown, This Littoral Combat Ship is Back in the Fleet," 18 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The superstar shared a sped-up video montage on Instagram, featuring moments from the 2018 Grammys, to her On the Run II tour with Jay-Z, to her Coachella performance, and sweet family moments in between. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé Wore the Coolest Wedding Gown for Her Vow Renewal with Jay-Z," 2 Jan. 2019 Smith mishandled the snap, but scooped it up and sped into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown. 2. Theo Lawson, The Seattle Times, "Five memorable Washington State football games against Big 12 Conference teams," 25 Dec. 2018 Not to mention the fact that speeding tickets significantly up the insurance premiums for new drivers (but enough of the lecturing!). Seventeen Editors, Seventeen, "7 Driving Tips For Teens That'll Seriously Help You Become a Pro On The Road," 14 Dec. 2018 The lights and sirens went on and the ambulance sped off to the hospital. Tricia Powell As Told To Nicole Blades, Good Housekeeping, "When an Airline Served Nuts on My Flight, I Almost Died in Front of My Kids," 26 Sep. 2018 But as Florence approached land, its wind speeds died down. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Don’t Forget About the Victims of Hurricane Florence," 18 Sep. 2018 Police found those two guns inside White’s silver Toyota Corolla, a car witnesses saw speeding from Cash America Pawn that day, Tallahassee police said. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "A man stole a gun from a store, cops say. But what a manager did next got him fired.," 12 July 2018 The 6 Visits Rule has had absolutely zero impact on speeding up the games. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty's Morning Line: Cincinnati Reds need the off day, and other MLB thoughts," 12 July 2018 At their core, e-scooter companies promise to do what any mode of transit does: Get you from point A to point B, this time on a slim foot-deck that carries you at speeds up to 15 mph. Madeline Buxton, refinery29.com, "How Scooters Became A Go-To Instagram Prop — & The Next Transportation Revolution," 12 July 2018

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

7 Jan 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 \

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 \

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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