warp speed


Definition of warp speed

: the highest possible speed

Keep scrolling for more

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

Incredibly, while Armageddon blazes at warp speed, its cadence is masterfully modulated: Assaultive action scenes, jaw-dropping outer space shots and small, personal moments orbit in narrative harmony under Bay's confident hand. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Armageddon': THR's 1998 Review," 1 July 2019 But Tekka, which turns 30 this month, is the antithesis of the trend, a tiny time warp in a city moving at warp speed. Rachel Levin, SFChronicle.com, "At Tekka, they found owners who offered an old-school haven in a changing city," 10 June 2019 Here is some reading heading in: -- Oregon sprinter Cravon Gillespie hits warp speed for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. oregonlive.com, "On Track Town, Cravon Gillespie, Jessica Hull and the NCAA Chamionships: Oregon track & field rundown," 4 June 2019 Lyft is accelerating at warp speed, but what happens if its loyal riders have to pump the brakes? Laura Forman, WSJ, "Lyft’s Bleeding Money. Can Its IPO Pay Off?," 29 Mar. 2019 While the warp speed its enthusiasts play at may look intimidating, pickleball is actually pretty easy to learn. Bethany Ao, Philly.com, "How to play pickleball," 12 July 2018 The usual rites of courtship happened at warp speed, magnified by Grande and Davidson’s visibility and collective wealth. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "What will become of the engagement ring Pete Davidson gave Ariana Grande?," 15 Oct. 2018 Romania got warp speed Internet connections, meaning curious students could work elsewhere. Andrada Fiscutean, Ars Technica, "The adventures of lab ED011—“Nobody would be able to duplicate what happened there”," 27 Aug. 2018 While most of us would be left fumbling in the moments when Kylie 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, Teen Vogue, "Manny MUA Recreates Kylie Jenner’s Vogue Makeup Routine Tutorial," 9 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about warp speed

Listen to Our Podcast about warp speed

Dictionary Entries near warp speed

war power


warp print

warp speed




Statistics for warp speed

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for warp speed

The first known use of warp speed was in 1977

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on warp speed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with warp speed

Comments on warp speed

What made you want to look up warp speed? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by turns or indirection

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!