Definitions

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

  • adj. Acting, moving, or capable of acting or moving quickly; swift.
  • adj. Accomplished in relatively little time: a fast visit.
  • adj. Acquired quickly with little effort and sometimes unscrupulously: made a fast buck scalping tickets.
  • adj. Quick to understand or learn; mentally agile: a class for the faster students.
  • adj. Indicating a time somewhat ahead of the actual time: The clock is fast.
  • adj. Allowing rapid movement or action: a fast running track.
  • adj. Designed for or compatible with a short exposure time: fast film.
  • adj. Disposed to dissipation; wild: ran with a fast crowd.
  • adj. Flouting conventional moral standards; sexually promiscuous.
  • adj. Resistant, as to destruction or fading: fast colors.
  • adj. Firmly fixed or fastened: a fast grip.
  • adj. Fixed firmly in place; secure: shutters that are fast against the rain.
  • adj. Firm in loyalty: fast friends.
  • adj. Lasting; permanent: fast rules and regulations.
  • adj. Deep; sound: in a fast sleep.
  • adv. In a secure manner; tightly: hold fast.
  • adv. To a sound degree; deeply: fast asleep.
  • adv. In a rapid manner; quickly.
  • adv. In quick succession: New ideas followed fast.
  • adv. Ahead of the correct or expected time: a watch that runs fast.
  • adv. In a dissipated, immoderate way: living fast.
  • adv. Archaic Close by; near.
  • intransitive v. To abstain from food.
  • intransitive v. To eat very little or abstain from certain foods, especially as a religious discipline.
  • n. The act or practice of abstaining from or eating very little food.
  • n. A period of such abstention or self-denial.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Able to transfer data in a short period of time
  • adv. ahead of the correct time or schedule
  • n. A train that calls at only some stations it passes between its origin and destination, typically just the principal stations
  • interj. Short for "stand fast", a warning not to pass between the arrow and the target
  • v. to abstain from or eat very little food; to abstain from food for religious or medical reasons
  • n. The act or practice of abstaining from food or of eating very little food
  • n. The period of time during which one abstains from or eats very little food

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To abstain from food; to omit to take nourishment in whole or in part; to go hungry.
  • intransitive v. To practice abstinence as a religious exercise or duty; to abstain from food voluntarily for a time, for the mortification of the body or appetites, or as a token of grief, or humiliation and penitence.
  • n. Abstinence from food; omission to take nourishment.
  • n. Voluntary abstinence from food, for a space of time, as a spiritual discipline, or as a token of religious humiliation.
  • n. A time of fasting, whether a day, week, or longer time; a period of abstinence from food or certain kinds of food.
  • adj. Firmly fixed; closely adhering; made firm; not loose, unstable, or easily moved; immovable.
  • adj. Firm against attack; fortified by nature or art; impregnable; strong.
  • adj. Firm in adherence; steadfast; not easily separated or alienated; faithful.
  • adj. Permanent; not liable to fade by exposure to air or by washing; durable; lasting.
  • adj. Tenacious; retentive.
  • adj. Not easily disturbed or broken; deep; sound.
  • adj. Moving rapidly; quick in mition; rapid; swift.
  • adj. Given to pleasure seeking; disregardful of restraint; reckless; wild; dissipated; dissolute
  • adj. In such a condition, as to resilience, etc., as to make possible unusual rapidity of play or action
  • adv. In a fast, fixed, or firmly established manner; fixedly; firmly; immovably.
  • adv. In a fast or rapid manner; quickly; swiftly; extravagantly; wildly
  • n. That which fastens or holds; especially, (Naut.) a mooring rope, hawser, or chain; -- called, according to its position, a bow, head, quarter, breast, or stern fast; also, a post on a pier around which hawsers are passed in mooring.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Firmly fixed in place; immovable.
  • Strong against attack; fortified.
  • Fixed in such a way as to prevent detachment, separation, removal, or escape; tight; secure; close; not loose nor easily detachable: as, take a fast hold; make fast the door; make fast a rope.
  • Firm in adherence; steadfast; faithful.
  • Tenacious; not fugitive; durable; lasting; permanent in tint: as, fast colors; fast to milling or to washing (said of colors, or of materials which will not change color under those operations).
  • Close, as sleep; deep; sound.
  • In use; not to be had.
  • The game of prison-bars or prisoner's-base.
  • Nautical, to belay: as, to make fast a rope.
  • n. That which fastens or holds.
  • n. Immovable shore-ice.
  • n. An underlayer; an understratum.
  • So as to be fixed or firm; so as to be firmly fixed in its place or in a desired position; firmly; immovably: as, the door sticks fast.
  • In archery, used elliptically for stand fast, or some similar injunction, in cautioning a person against passing between the shooter and the target, and directing him to stand fast, or remain where he is.
  • Strongly; vehemently; greatly; hard.
  • Tenaciously; durably; permanently.
  • Eagerly.
  • Soundly; closely; deeply.
  • Close; near: as, fast by; fast beside. See below.
  • To make fast; fix; fasten.
  • Specifically To join in marriage; marry.
  • Swiftly; rapidly; quickly; with quick motion or in rapid succession: as, to run fast; to move fast through the water, as a ship; the work goes on fast; it rains fast; the blows fell thick and fast.
  • Swift; quick in motion; rapid; that moves, advances, or acts with celerity or speed: as, a fast horse; a fast cruiser; a fast printing-press.
  • Done or accomplished with celerity; speedily performed; occupying comparatively little time: as, a fast passage or journey; a fast race; fast work.
  • Being in advance of a standard; too far ahead: used of timepieces and reckonings of time: as, the clock or watch is fast, or ten minutes fast; your time is fast.
  • Furnishing or concerned with rapid transportation: as, a fast train; a fast-freight line; a fast route; a fast station.
  • Eager in the pursuit of pleasure or frivolity; devoted to pleasure and gayety; dissipated: as, a fast liver; a fast man; a fast life.
  • To hasten.
  • To abstain from food beyond the usual time; omit to take nourishment: go hungry.
  • To abstain from food, or from particular kinds of food, voluntarily, for the mortification of the body, as a religious duty. See fast, n., and fast-day.
  • n. A state of fasting; abstinence from food; omission to take nourishment.
  • n. Voluntary abstinence from food, as a religious penance or discipline, as a means of propitiation, or as an expression of grief under affliction present or prospective.
  • n. A time of fasting; the prescribed period or duration of abstinence.
  • Favorable to high speed: said of the condition of a race-track or road, and also, in cricket, of the wicket or playing-ground when it is hard and dry, so that the ball travels fast.
  • n. In architecture, a fastening, usually a simple button or bolt to keep a door or window shut: often used in combination, as door-fast, shutter-fast, etc.
  • n. The fast of the fifth month, on the ninth day of Ab, the fifth month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year; on that day, the Talmud relates, it was decreed that the children of Israel should not enter the Promised Land: the destruction of the first and second temples occurred on the same day.
  • n. The fast of the tenth month, on the tenth day of Tebeth, the reason for this fast being the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.
  • n. The fast of Esther, on the thirteenth day of the month Adar, which is the eve of Purim (which see). Besides the above there are numerous other fasts, general, local, and private. For instance, in some localities the Jews fast on the twentieth day of Sivan (about the middle of June), on account of the calamities inflicted upon them in 1648 by the Cossacks under Chmielnicki. The Jews of Frankfort-on-the-Main fast on the nineteenth day of Adar, on account of the atrocities committed upon them at the time of their expulsion from that place in 1614. The orthodox Jews observe no less than twenty-five regular fast-days, besides a score or so of other self-imposed and private fasts, including Jahrzeit, a fast on the anniversary of the death of parents, and the fast of bad dreams, which takes place in order that God may be invoked to ward off the threatening evil. The very pious Jews fast every Friday, so that they may better enjoy the Sabbath feast in the evening, which is considered a meritorious meal.

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

  • adj. acting or moving or capable of acting or moving quickly
  • adj. unrestrained by convention or morality
  • adv. quickly or rapidly (often used as a combining form)
  • v. abstain from eating
  • adj. (used of timepieces) indicating a time ahead of or later than the correct time
  • adj. resistant to destruction or fading
  • adj. hurried and brief
  • n. abstaining from food
  • v. abstain from certain foods, as for religious or medical reasons
  • adj. securely fixed in place
  • adj. (of surfaces) conducive to rapid speeds
  • adj. (of a photographic lens or emulsion) causing a shortening of exposure time
  • adv. firmly or closely
  • adj. at a rapid tempo
  • adj. unwavering in devotion to friend or vow or cause

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English fæst, firm, fixed; see past- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English fasten, from Old English fæstan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English fast, from Old English fæst ("fast, fixed, firm, secure; constant, steadfast; stiff, heavy, dense; obstinate, bound, costive; enclosed, closed, watertight; strong, fortified"), from Proto-Germanic *fastaz, *fastijaz, *fastuz (“fast, firm, secure”), from Proto-Indo-European *pasto- (“fixed, firm, fortified, solid”). Cognate with Scots fest, fast ("fast"), Saterland Frisian fest ("fast"), West Frisian fêst ("fast"), Dutch vast ("fast"), German fest ("fast"), Danish fast ("fast"), Swedish fast ("fast"), Norwegian fast ("fast"), Icelandic fastur ("fast"), Armenian հաստ (hast, "thick"), Sanskrit पस्त्य (pastyá). (Wiktionary)
Old English fæstan (verb), from Proto-Germanic *fastijanan. Cognate with Dutch vasten, German fasten, Old Norse fasta, Gothic 𐍆𐌰𐍃𐍄𐌰𐌽. The noun is probably from Old Norse fasta. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That's why students of the U.S. S.hool of Music get ahead twice as fast -- _three times as fast_ as those who study old-fashioned, plodding methods.

    Astounding Stories of Super-Science February 1930

  • _ (held) fast in his antagonist's clutch_, 637; fýrbendum fäst, _fast in the forged hinges_, 723; handa fäst, 1291, etc.; hygebendum fäst (beorn him langað), _fast (shut) in the bonds of his bosom, the man longs for_ (i.e. in secret), 1879.

    Beowulf

  • _ (held) fast in his antagonist's clutch_, 637; fȳrbendum fæst, _fast in the forged hinges_, 723; handa fæst, 1291, etc.; hygebendum fæst (beorn him langað), _fast (shut) in the bonds of his bosom, the man longs for_ (i.e. in secret), 1879.

    Beowulf

  • BRIDEGROOM is with them, the SONS OF THE NUPTIALS cannot fast: the days will come when the BRIDEGROOM will be taken away from them, and then will they fast_, "Matt ix.

    The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love

  • His lead: “Attention White House speechwriters: The term fast track is no longer in vogue.”

    No Uncertain Terms

  • Win, and win fast, is the mandate NFL head coaches carry into their jobs.

    New era for NFL head coaches: Super Bowl winners must sit

  • The phrase fast track has a long history in horse racing, to mean “dry, conducive to speed.”

    No Uncertain Terms

  • Colangelo's leadership, decided early on the best way to win fast is to do it with experienced players.

    USATODAY.com - Diamondbacks quenching fans' thirst for winner

  • Usmagazine. com celebrity_news - Britney Spears debuted the raunchy video for her controversial tune "If U Seek Amy" (say the title fast!) on her Web site Thursday.

    ShowHype - Top Entertainment News, Videos, and Blogs

  • Britney Spears debuted the raunchy video for her controversial tune "If U Seek Amy" (say the title fast!) on her Web site Thursday.

    ShowHype - Top Entertainment News, Videos, and Blogs

Comments

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  • We all want things to happen faster. If you can do it - tell them.

    '15 words that will make you money'

    July 23, 2009

  • Citation (with meaning “solid�?) at uncleft.

    November 14, 2008

  • Goaded by his desire for instant gratification, a German academic strikes an ill-judged bargain.

    February 6, 2008

  • Contronymic in the sense: moving vs. fixed in place or asleep.

    January 29, 2007