• synonyms


[ak-sel-er-uh nt]
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  1. something that speeds up a process.
  2. Chemistry. accelerator(def 5).
  3. a substance that accelerates the spread of fire or makes a fire more intense: Arson was suspected when police found accelerants at the scene of the fire.

Origin of accelerant

1915–20; < Latin accelerant- (stem of accelerāns) hastening (present participle of accelerāre). See accelerate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for accelerant


  1. chem another name for accelerator (def. 3)

Word Origin

C20: from Latin from accelerāns, present participle of accelerāre to go faster
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for accelerant


1854, from Latin accelerantem (nominative accelerans), present participle of accelerare (see accelerate). As an adjective from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

accelerant in Medicine


  1. Accelerator.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

accelerant in Science


  1. A substance, such as a petroleum distillate, that is used as a catalyst, as in spreading an intentionally set fire.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.