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

The Sheriff’s Office said the vehicle fled at an estimated speed of 100 mph at which point the deputy slowed down and deactivated his emergency lights. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Two dead, one injured in head-on collision while a vehicle fled from Volusia deputy," 20 June 2019 The book is released, and your publisher, amazed at the speed and efficiency of your production, rewards you with a deal for another book. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, "The Sameness of Cass Sunstein," 20 June 2019 Morant may take a season or two to adjust to the speed of the NBA game, but his innate playmaking ability, elite athleticism and unique improvisational qualities give him a chance to be special. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "2019 NBA Mock Draft 11.0: Latest Intel, Rumors on All 30 Teams," 19 June 2019 Its bikes sport 750- to 1,000-watt motors capable of reaching speeds of up to 30 mph without any work by the rider. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, "Giant paddle boards, electric bikes that can haul more than 350 pounds: the Outdoor Retailer Demo Experience had that and more," 17 June 2019 The scale and the speed of China’s economic transformation were conducive to a fictive mode that concerns itself with the fate of whole societies, planets, and galaxies, and in which individuals are presented as cogs in larger systems. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds," 17 June 2019 The tornado was only on the ground for about 1 minute, reaching peak winds speeds of 95 mph. Dallas News, "Survey teams confirm tornadoes touched down Sunday in Arlington, Fort Worth," 17 June 2019 In Composition, de Kooning’s masterpiece of that year, the addition of sand or other grit to the paint creates a drag against the canvas, shifting the emphasis from the speed of the stroke to its driving force. The New York Review of Books, "The Art of the Possible at Havana’s Bienal," 15 June 2019 Once at the top, the gondola drops down at a speed of 62 mph (100 kph). Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "Have you seen the Gyro Drop on social media? It's fake.," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The event started with a video feed of a white Tesla Model X sport-utility vehicle speeding through the tunnel and then emerging in front of the crowd gathered around a large pit created to dig the passage. Tim Higgins, WSJ, "Inside Elon Musk’s Tunnel to Alleviate ‘Soul-Destroying’ Traffic," 19 Dec. 2018 When the masks finally reached Thailand, a representative of Draeger Safety, Thanyanit Udomnilobol, helped speed them through customs, Gamberini said. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Diving masks from San Marcos company helped rescue of Thai boys from cave," 11 July 2018 Alterboyz practices slow, patient improv while Wet Bus speeds through its set with quick wit, rapid physicality shifts, and bold scene initiations. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "The two improv teams in Oh Hell Yeah demonstrate that timing is everything," 22 June 2018 The coaster speeds through tunnels filled with visual effects from laser beams to a stretching Elastigirl. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Pixar Pier first look: Riding the Incredicoaster at California Adventure," 21 June 2018 The Staircase was one of the first TV shows to do a deep hours-long dive into a criminal case instead of speeding through a whole trial in an half an hour. Lincoln Michel, GQ, "The Seminal True Crime Documentary Is Now on Netflix," 16 June 2018 The teens fled southbound on Claremont, sped through alleys and whizzed past stop signs, police said. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, "2 teens charged in Bucktown carjacking," 14 June 2018 He could be seen speeding through Singapore on Sunday in a black limousine adorned with large North Korean flags. Washington Post, "Isolated Kim takes big gamble leaving home for Trump summit," 10 June 2018 Police on Monday said a 62-year-old man sped through a checkpoint near an intersection where lava was approaching. CBS News, "Hawaii volcano lava destroys more homes, including Big Island mayor's," 5 June 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

24 Jun 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

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