Definitions

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

  • adjective Moving with speed.
  • noun The act or instance of operating a motor vehicle or motorboat faster than allowed by law.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of putting to speed; a test of speed, as of a horse.

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

  • verb Present participle of speed.
  • adjective That speeds.
  • noun acceleration
  • noun Driving faster than the legal speed limit.

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

  • noun changing location rapidly

Etymologies

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Examples

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  • Above all, the early critics of the automobile blamed its speed. Not until the mid 1920s was the inherent danger of speed widely questioned. In 1925 The Outlook, a popular magazine of news commentary, reported of traffic accidents that "the chief danger, it is now generally conceded, is not speeding, but bad and careless driving by immature or reckless drivers." Today the distinction is not obvious. Speeding is "bad" or "careless" driving, indulged in by the "immature or reckless." Yet our definition of speeding has changed. Fifty or 60 miles per hour may be prudent driving, or even so slow as to disrupt the flow of traffic. We do not call this speeding; for us, speedingspeeding is unusual. Before the mid 1920s, however, speeding was what an automobile was made to do. When we speak today of a "speeding bullet,," we mean a bullet merely doing what it was made to do. In the first quarter of the twntieth century, this sense of "speeding" applied to automobiles as well. The car distinguished itself from streetcars, horse-drawn vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians by going faster—by "speeding." It was inherently a speeding machine. The car's capacity to speed was its chief advantage over other modes.
    Id., p. 31.

    Peter D. Norton, Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008), p.

    January 22, 2020

  • Above all, the early critics of the automobile blamed its speed. Not until the mid 1920s was the inherent danger of speed widely questioned. In 1925 The Outlook, a popular magazine of news commentary, reported of traffic accidents that "the chief danger, it is now generally conceded, is not speeding, but bad and careless driving by immature or reckless drivers." Today the distinction is not obvious. Speeding is "bad" or "careless" driving, indulged in by the "immature or reckless." Yet our definition of speeding has changed. Fifty or 60 miles per hour may be prudent driving, or even so slow as to disrupt the flow of traffic. We do not call this speeding; for us, speeding is unusual. Before the mid 1920s, however, speeding was what an automobile was made to do. When we speak today of a "speeding bullet,," we mean a bullet merely doing what it was made to do. In the first quarter of the twentieth century, this sense of "speeding" applied to automobiles as well. The car distinguished itself from streetcars, horse-drawn vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians by going faster—by "speeding." It was inherently a speeding machine. The car's capacity to speed was its chief advantage over other modes.

    Peter D. Norton, Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008), p. 31

    January 22, 2020