Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Physics The rate or a measure of the rate of motion, especially:
  • n. Physics Distance traveled divided by the time of travel.
  • n. Physics The limit of this quotient as the time of travel becomes vanishingly small; the first derivative of distance with respect to time.
  • n. Physics The magnitude of a velocity.
  • n. Swiftness of action.
  • n. The act of moving rapidly.
  • n. The state of being in rapid motion; rapidity.
  • n. A transmission gear or set of gears in a motor vehicle.
  • n. A numerical expression of the sensitivity of a photographic film, plate, or paper to light.
  • n. The capacity of a lens to accumulate light at an appropriate aperture.
  • n. The length of time required or permitted for a camera shutter to open and admit light.
  • n. Slang A stimulant drug, especially amphetamine or methamphetamine.
  • n. Slang One that suits or appeals to a person's inclinations, skills, or character: Living in a large city is not my speed.
  • n. Archaic Prosperity; luck.
  • transitive v. To cause to go, move, or proceed quickly; hasten.
  • transitive v. To increase the speed or rate of; accelerate: speed up a car; sped production.
  • transitive v. To wish Godspeed to.
  • transitive v. To further, promote, or expedite (a legal action, for example).
  • transitive v. Archaic To help to succeed or prosper; aid.
  • intransitive v. To go, move, or proceed quickly: sped to the rescue.
  • intransitive v. To drive at a speed exceeding a legal limit: was speeding on the freeway.
  • intransitive v. To pass quickly: The days sped by. The months have sped along.
  • intransitive v. To move, work, or happen at a faster rate; accelerate: His pulse speeded up.
  • intransitive v. Archaic To prove successful; prosper.
  • intransitive v. Archaic To get along in a specified manner; fare.
  • idiom up to speed Operating at maximum speed.
  • idiom up to speed Producing something or performing at an acceptable rate or level.
  • idiom up to speed Informal Fully informed of or conversant with: I'm not up to speed on these issues yet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the state of moving quickly or the capacity for rapid motion; rapidity
  • n. the rate of motion or action, specifically (mathematics)/(physics) the magnitude of the velocity; the rate distance is traversed in a given time
  • n. the sensitivity to light of film, plates.
  • n. any amphetamine drug used as a stimulant, especially illegally, especially methamphetamine
  • n. luck, success, prosperity
  • v. To succeed; to prosper, be lucky.
  • v. To help someone, to give them fortune.
  • v. To go fast, especially excessively fast.
  • v. To exceed the speed limit.
  • v. To increase the rate at which something occurs
  • v. To be under the influence of stimulant drugs, especially amphetamines.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Prosperity in an undertaking; favorable issue; success.
  • n. The act or state of moving swiftly; swiftness; velocity; rapidly; rate of motion; dispatch.
  • n. One who, or that which, causes or promotes speed or success.
  • intransitive v. To go; to fare.
  • intransitive v. To experience in going; to have any condition, good or ill; to fare.
  • intransitive v. To fare well; to have success; to prosper.
  • intransitive v. To make haste; to move with celerity.
  • intransitive v. To be expedient.
  • transitive v. To cause to be successful, or to prosper; hence, to aid; to favor.
  • transitive v. To cause to make haste; to dispatch with celerity; to drive at full speed; hence, to hasten; to hurry.
  • transitive v. To hasten to a conclusion; to expedite.
  • transitive v. To hurry to destruction; to put an end to; to ruin; to undo.
  • transitive v. To wish success or god fortune to, in any undertaking, especially in setting out upon a journey.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To advance toward a goal or a result; get on successfully; be fortunate; prosper; get on in general; make progress; fare; succeed.
  • To get on rapidly; move with celerity; hasten in going; go quickly; hasten in doing something; act rapidly; hurry; be quick.
  • To cause to advance toward success; favor the course or cause of; make prosperous.
  • To push forward; carry toward a conclusion; promote; advance.
  • To send or push forward in a course; promote the going or progress of; cause to go; aid in going.
  • To give high speed to; put to speed; hasten the going or progress of; make or cause to be rapid in movement; give celerity to: also used reflexively.
  • To give a certain (specified) speed to; also, to regulate the speed of; arrange for a certain rate of going; set for a determined rapidity.
  • To send off or away; put forth; despatch on a course: as, an arrow sped from the bow.
  • Hence To send or put out of the way; get rid of; send off; do for; in a specific use, to send out of the world; put to death; despatch; kill.
  • To cause to be relieved: only in the passive.
  • To disclose; unfold; explain.
  • n. Success; a successful course; prosperity in doing something; good fortune; luck: used either absolutely or relatively: as, to wish one good speed in an undertaking.
  • n. Apromoter of success or progress; a speeder.
  • n. Rapidity of movement; quickness of motion; swiftness: also used figuratively.
  • n. Rate of progress or motion (whether fast or slow); comparative rapidity; velocity: as, moderate speed; a fast or a slow rate of speed; to regulate the speed of machines.
  • n. In submarine rock-drilling, a leg or beam to which the drilling apparatus is attached.
  • n. Synonyms Swiftness, Rapidity, etc. (see quickness), expedition.
  • n. Rapidity of action, as of a lens. The speed of a lens is dependent upon the amount of light it projects on the plate.
  • n. In mech., a device by which the rate of motion may be changed or controlled, particularly in motor-vehicles.
  • n. The speed at which a machine, vibration, or other periodic element synchronizes with another machine, vibration, or periodic element: for example, the synchronizing of the speed of a machine with the period of vibration of the building in which it is operated.
  • n. A rate of travel or speed of revolution of the drivers of a locomotive or of a motor-car at which the rate of flow of steam, or motor fluid to the cylinder, is so retarded by friction in passages, or otherwise, that further increase of speed is not accompanied by increase of power. This may also occur because of diminished adhesion of the drivers to the rail or road surface at such high speed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a rate (usually rapid) at which something happens
  • v. move very fast
  • v. cause to move faster
  • n. distance travelled per unit time
  • v. move fast
  • n. changing location rapidly
  • v. travel at an excessive or illegal velocity
  • n. a central nervous system stimulant that increases energy and decreases appetite; used to treat narcolepsy and some forms of depression
  • v. move faster
  • n. the ratio of the focal length to the diameter of a (camera) lens system

Etymologies

Middle English spede, from Old English spēd, success, swiftness.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English spede ("prosperity, good luck, quickness, success"), from Old English spēd ("luck, prosperity, success"), from Proto-Germanic *spōdiz (“prosperity, success”), from Proto-Germanic *spōanan (“to prosper, succeed, be happy”), from Proto-Indo-European *spē-, *spʰē- (“to prosper, turn out well”). Cognate with Scots spede, speid ("success, quickness, speed"), Dutch spoed ("haste; speed"), Low German spood ("haste, speed"), German Sput ("progress, acceleration, haste"). Related also to Old English spōwan ("to be successful, succeed"), Albanian shpejt ("to speed, to hurry") and Russian спешить (sp'éšit', "to hurry"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English speden, from Old English spēdan ("to speed, prosper, succeed, have success"), from Proto-Germanic *spōdijanan (“to succeed”). Cognate with Scots spede, speid ("to meet with success, assist, promote, accomplish, speed"), Dutch spoeden ("to hurry, rush"), Low German spoden, spöden ("to hasten, speed"), German sputen, spuden ("to speed"). (Wiktionary)

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