Definition of warp speed
: the highest possible speed
warp speed was our Word of the Day on 01/16/2015. Hear the podcast!
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."
Origin and Etymology of warp speed
from the use in science fiction of space-time warps to allow faster-than-light travel
First Known Use: 1977
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