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

  • adjective Moving or functioning rapidly and energetically; speedy.
  • adjective Learning, thinking, or understanding with speed and dexterity; bright.
  • adjective Perceiving or responding with speed and sensitivity; keen.
  • adjective Reacting immediately and sharply.
  • adjective Occurring, achieved, or acquired in a relatively brief period of time.
  • adjective Done or occurring immediately: synonym: fast.
  • adjective Tending to react hastily.
  • adjective Alive.
  • adjective Pregnant.
  • noun Sensitive or raw exposed flesh, as under the fingernails.
  • noun The most personal and sensitive aspect of the emotions.
  • noun The living.
  • noun The vital core; the essence.
  • adverb Quickly; promptly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Very elastic: as, a quick billiard cushion.
  • 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.
  • noun In mining, an abbreviation of quicksilver.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • noun A living being.
  • noun That which is quick, or living and sensitive: with the definite article: as, cut to the quick.
  • noun A live fence or hedge formed of some growing plant, usually hawthorn; quickset.
  • noun The quitch-grass. Also quicks, quitch.

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

  • adverb In a quick manner; quickly; promptly; rapidly; with haste; speedily; without delay
  • verb obsolete To revive; to quicken; to be or become alive.
  • adjective Alive; living; animate; -- opposed to dead or inanimate.
  • adjective Characterized by life or liveliness; animated; sprightly; agile; brisk; ready.
  • adjective Speedy; hasty; swift; not slow.
  • adjective Impatient; passionate; hasty; eager; eager; sharp; unceremonious.
  • adjective Fresh; bracing; sharp; keen.
  • adjective Sensitive; perceptive in a high degree; ready.
  • adjective Pregnant; with child.
  • adjective (Bot.) See Quitch grass.
  • adjective See under Match.
  • adjective (Mining) a vein of ore which is productive, not barren.


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

    January 27, 2007

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

    July 14, 2007

  • As she mused the pitiful vision of her mother's life laid its spell on the very quick of her being ...James Joyce

    August 5, 2008

  • As she mused the pitiful vision of her mother's life laid its spell on the very quick of her being ...James Joyce

    August 5, 2008

  • Roger Pearson describes the "pestilential fug" of Paris at the end of the 17th century in Voltaire Almighty: A life in pursuit of freedom:

    "…churches with their rotting dead and hospitals with their purulent quick…"

    October 12, 2008