Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To increase the speed of: synonym: speed.
  • intransitive verb Physics To change the velocity of.
  • intransitive verb To cause to occur sooner than expected.
  • intransitive verb To cause to develop or progress more quickly.
  • intransitive verb To reduce the time required for (an academic course, for example); compress into a shorter period.
  • intransitive verb To make it possible for (a student) to finish an academic course faster than usual.
  • intransitive verb To move or act faster.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To assign a date earlier than the true or real one; give an earlier date to; antedate.
  • To make quicker; cause to move or advance faster; hasten; add to the velocity of; give a higher rate of progress to: as, to accelerate motion or the rate of motion; to accelerate the transmission of intelligence; to accelerate the growth of a plant, or the progress of knowledge.
  • To bring nearer in time; bring about, or help to bring about, more speedily than would otherwise have been the case: as, to accelerate the ruin of a government; to accelerate death.
  • To become faster; increase in speed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To cause to move faster; to quicken the motion of; to add to the speed of; -- opposed to retard.
  • transitive verb To quicken the natural or ordinary progression or process of
  • transitive verb To hasten, as the occurence of an event.
  • transitive verb (Mech.) motion with a continually increasing velocity.
  • transitive verb the force which causes accelerated motion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To cause to move faster; to quicken the motion of; to add to the speed of.
  • verb transitive To quicken the natural or ordinary progression or process of.
  • verb transitive, physics To cause a change of velocity.
  • verb transitive To hasten, as the occurrence of an event.
  • verb transitive, education To enable a student to finish a course of study in less than normal time.
  • verb intransitive To become faster; to begin to move more quickly.
  • verb intransitive Grow; increase.
  • verb obsolete Alternative form of accelerated.
  • adjective rare Accelerated; quickened; hastened; hurried.

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

  • verb cause to move faster
  • verb move faster

Etymologies

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

[Latin accelerāre, accelerāt- : ad-, intensive pref.; see ad– + celerāre, to quicken (from celer, swift).]

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