Synonyms & Antonyms of rapid

moving, proceeding, or acting with great speed
  • the rapid descent of the roller coaster made me feel very queasy

Synonyms for rapid

Words Related to rapid

Phrases Synonymous with rapid

Near Antonyms for rapid

Antonyms for rapid

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Frequently Asked Questions About rapid

How does the adjective rapid contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of rapid are expeditious, fast, fleet, hasty, quick, speedy, and swift. While all these words mean "moving, proceeding, or acting with celerity," rapid applies to the movement itself, rather than to the thing that moves.

rapid current

When would expeditious be a good substitute for rapid?

Although the words expeditious and rapid have much in common, expeditious suggests efficiency together with rapidity of accomplishment.

the expeditious handling of an order

How are the words fast and rapid related?

Both fast and rapid are very close in meaning, but fast applies particularly to the thing that moves.

fast horses

When is it sensible to use fleet instead of rapid?

The meanings of fleet and rapid largely overlap; however, fleet adds the implication of lightness and nimbleness.

fleet runners

In what contexts can hasty take the place of rapid?

While in some cases nearly identical to rapid, hasty suggests hurry and precipitousness and often connotes carelessness.

a hasty inspection

Where would quick be a reasonable alternative to rapid?

The synonyms quick and rapid are sometimes interchangeable, but quick suggests promptness and the taking of little time.

a quick wit

When can speedy be used instead of rapid?

In some situations, the words speedy and rapid are roughly equivalent. However, speedy implies quickness of successful accomplishment and may also suggest unusual velocity.

speedy delivery of mail

When might swift be a better fit than rapid?

The words swift and rapid are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, swift suggests great rapidity coupled with ease of movement.

returned the ball with one swift stroke

Learn More About rapid

Time Traveler for rapid

Time Traveler

The first known use of rapid was in 1634

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Thesaurus Entries Near rapid



rapid eye movement

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Cite this Entry

“Rapid.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on rapid

Nglish: Translation of rapid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rapid for Arabic Speakers


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