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

  • adj. Moving or functioning rapidly and energetically; speedy.
  • adj. Learning, thinking, or understanding with speed and dexterity; bright: a quick mind.
  • adj. Perceiving or responding with speed and sensitivity; keen.
  • adj. Reacting immediately and sharply: a quick temper.
  • adj. Occurring, achieved, or acquired in a relatively brief period of time: a quick rise through the ranks; a quick profit.
  • adj. Done or occurring immediately: a quick inspection. See Synonyms at fast1.
  • adj. Tending to react hastily: quick to find fault.
  • adj. Archaic Alive.
  • adj. Archaic Pregnant.
  • n. Sensitive or raw exposed flesh, as under the fingernails.
  • n. The most personal and sensitive aspect of the emotions.
  • n. The living: the quick and the dead.
  • n. The vital core; the essence: got to the quick of the matter.
  • adv. Quickly; promptly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Moving with speed, rapidity or swiftness, or capable of doing so; rapid; fast.
  • adj. Occurring in a short time; happening or done rapidly.
  • adj. Lively, fast-thinking, witty, intelligent.
  • adj. Mentally agile, alert, perceptive.
  • adj. Of temper: easily aroused to anger; quick-tempered.
  • adj. Alive, living.
  • adj. Pregnant, especially at the stage where the foetus's movements can be felt; figuratively, alive with some emotion or feeling.
  • adj. Of water: flowing.
  • adj. Burning, flammable, fiery.
  • adv. to do with speed, quickly
  • n. raw or sensitive flesh, especially that underneath finger and toe nails.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Alive; living; animate; -- opposed to dead or inanimate.
  • adj. Characterized by life or liveliness; animated; sprightly; agile; brisk; ready.
  • adj. Speedy; hasty; swift; not slow.
  • adj. Impatient; passionate; hasty; eager; eager; sharp; unceremonious.
  • adj. Fresh; bracing; sharp; keen.
  • adj. Sensitive; perceptive in a high degree; ready.
  • adj. Pregnant; with child.
  • adv. In a quick manner; quickly; promptly; rapidly; with haste; speedily; without delay
  • n. That which is quick, or alive; a living animal or plant; especially, the hawthorn, or other plants used in making a living hedge.
  • n. The life; the mortal point; a vital part; a part susceptible of serious injury or keen feeling; the sensitive living flesh; the part of a finger or toe to which the nail is attached; the tender emotions
  • n. Quitch grass.
  • v. To revive; to quicken; to be or become alive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Living; alive; live.
  • Lively; characterized by physical or mental liveliness or sprightliness; prompt; ready; sprightly; nimble; brisk.
  • Prompt to perceive or to respond to impressions; perceptive in a high degree; sensitive; hence, excitable; restless; passionate.
  • Speedy; hasty; swift; rapid; done or occurring in a short time; prompt; immediate: as, a quick return of profits.
  • Hasty; precipitate; irritable; sharp; unceremonious.
  • Pregnant; with child: specifically noting a woman when the motion of the fetus is felt.
  • Active in operation; piercing; sharp; hence, bracing; fresh.
  • Synonyms and Expeditious, rapid, active, alert, agile, hurrying, hurried, fleet, dexterous, adroit. See quickness.
  • Acute, keen.
  • n. A living being.
  • n. That which is quick, or living and sensitive: with the definite article: as, cut to the quick.
  • n. A live fence or hedge formed of some growing plant, usually hawthorn; quickset.
  • n. The quitch-grass. Also quicks, quitch.
  • In a quick manner; nimbly; with celerity; rapidly; with haste; speedily: as, run quick.
  • Soon; in a short time; without delay: as, go and return quick.
  • To make alive; quicken; animate.
  • To revive; kindle; quicken.
  • In electroplating, to prepare for the firmer adhesion of the deposited metal by the use of a solution of nitrate of mercury.
  • To become alive; revive.
  • Very elastic: as, a quick billiard cushion.
  • n. In mining, an abbreviation of quicksilver.

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

  • adj. hurried and brief
  • adv. with little or no delay
  • adj. moving quickly and lightly
  • n. any area of the body that is highly sensitive to pain (as the flesh underneath the skin or a fingernail or toenail)
  • adj. easily aroused or excited
  • adj. performed with little or no delay
  • adj. apprehending and responding with speed and sensitivity
  • adj. accomplished rapidly and without delay


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

Middle English, alive, lively, quick, from Old English cwicu, alive; see gwei- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English quik or quic, from Old English cwic ("alive"), from Proto-Germanic *kwikwaz, from Proto-Indo-European *gʷih₃wós (“alive”), from *gʷey- (“to live”), *gʷeih₃w- (“to live”). Cognate with Dutch kwik and kwiek, German keck, Swedish kvick; and (from Indo-European) with Ancient Greek βίος (bios, "life"), Latin vivus, Lithuanian gývas ("alive"), Latvian dzīvs ("alive"), Russian живой (živoj), Welsh byw ("alive"), Irish beo ("alive"), biathaim ("nourish"), Kurdish jîn ("to live") and jiyan ("life"), giyan ("soul"), can ("soul"), Sanskrit जीव (jīva, "living"). . .



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  • alive, as the quick and the dead, or as cut to the quick

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  • Contronymic in the sense: fleet vs. fixed center.

    January 27, 2007