warp speed


Definition of warp speed 

: the highest possible speed

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Other words from warp speed

warp-speed adjective

Did You Know?

Warp speed is an example of a phrase that entered the public consciousness through science fiction and eventually gained enough popularity to end up in the dictionary. The expression was popularized on the science-fiction show Star Trek in the 1960s. On the show, warp speed referred to a specific concept, namely the idea of faster-than-light travel. Within a relatively short period of time, Star Trek gained a devoted and intense following. Fans were soon discussing the fictional concepts of the show, including warp speed, with great enthusiasm. Eventually, the term warp speed was adopted by the general population. In the process, however, it lost its specific fictional meaning and came to mean simply "the highest possible speed."

Examples of warp speed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Start this intense 30 percent acid peel as a single daily treatment, and after a few days, try your hand at a morning and evening application for glowy and clear skin at warp speed. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Are You Exfoliating Your Face Wrong?," 11 July 2018 While most of us would be left fumbling in the moments when Jenner bakes her face at warp speed or applies lip liner with her eyes closed, Manny fully manages to pull it off — and even swaps some of her hero products for more affordable versions. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "Watch Manny MUA Flawlessly Recreate Kylie Jenner’s Entire Makeup Routine," 9 July 2018 Young parents were beginning to jump onto social media in meaningful numbers in India, opening a fresh path to building a new brand at warp speed. Bill Spindle, WSJ, "A Milk Startup Takes On 300 Million Cows," 7 July 2018 The designer carousel continues to move at warp speed, and the latest departure is one of its most tenured riders. Cam Wolf, GQ, "Bottega Veneta Designer Tomas Maier Departs," 14 June 2018 The Screamer was approaching warp speed south of the boat basin when a Scooter Brat flashed out of the playground. Joyce Wadler, New York Times, "E.T. Doesn’t Like the Bike Path Either," 18 June 2018 This is relative warp speed for a brand that’s succeeded by never pressing the gas pedal particularly hard. Cam Wolf, GQ, "Supreme’s World Domination Tour Starts in San Francisco," 1 May 2018 Tony Hopp advises employees at his company to avoid falling into the trap of expecting all messaging to happen at warp speed. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "The Instant Message Generation Gap," 17 Apr. 2018 The main difference with Nixon’s opening to China is thoroughly Trumpian: everything now is unfolding at warp speed. Andrew Preston, The New Republic, "Will Trump Be Nixon in China?," 11 June 2018

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

1977, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for warp speed

from the use in science fiction of space-time warps to allow faster-than-light travel

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Dictionary Entries near warp speed

war power


warp print

warp speed




Statistics for warp speed

Last Updated

27 Jul 2018

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Time Traveler for warp speed

The first known use of warp speed was in 1977

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