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fast1

[fast, fahst] /fæst, fɑst/
adjective, faster, fastest.
1.
moving or able to move, operate, function, or take effect quickly; quick; swift; rapid:
a fast horse; a fast pain reliever; a fast thinker.
2.
done in comparatively little time; taking a comparatively short time:
a fast race; fast work.
3.
  1. indicating a time in advance of the correct time, as of a clock.
  2. noting or according to daylight-saving time.
4.
adapted to, allowing, productive of, or imparting rapid movement:
a hull with fast lines; one of the fastest pitchers in baseball.
5.
characterized by unrestrained conduct or lack of moral conventions, especially in sexual relations; wanton; loose:
Some young people in that era were considered fast, if not downright promiscuous.
6.
characterized by hectic activity:
leading a fast life.
7.
resistant:
acid-fast.
8.
firmly fixed in place; not easily moved; securely attached.
9.
held or caught firmly, so as to be unable to escape or be extricated:
an animal fast in a trap.
10.
firmly tied, as a knot.
11.
closed and made secure, as a door, gate, or shutter.
12.
such as to hold securely:
to lay fast hold on a thing.
13.
firm in adherence; loyal; devoted:
fast friends.
14.
permanent, lasting, or unchangeable:
a fast color; a hard and fast rule.
15.
Informal.
  1. (of money, profits, etc.) made quickly or easily and sometimes deviously:
    He earned some fast change helping the woman with her luggage.
  2. cleverly quick and manipulative in making money:
    a fast operator when it comes to closing a business deal.
16.
Photography.
  1. (of a lens) able to transmit a relatively large amount of light in a relatively short time.
  2. (of a film) requiring a relatively short exposure time to attain a given density.
17.
Horse Racing.
  1. (of a track condition) completely dry.
  2. (of a track surface) very hard.
adverb, faster, fastest.
18.
quickly, swiftly, or rapidly.
19.
in quick succession:
Events followed fast upon one another to the crisis.
20.
tightly; firmly:
to hold fast.
21.
soundly:
fast asleep.
22.
in a wild or dissipated way.
23.
ahead of the correct or announced time.
24.
Archaic. close; near:
fast by.
noun
25.
a fastening for a door, window, or the like.
Idioms
26.
play fast and loose. play (def 80).
27.
pull a fast one, Informal. to play an unfair trick; practice deceit:
He tried to pull a fast one on us by switching the cards.
Origin of fast1
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English fæst firm; cognate with Dutch vast, Old Norse fastr firm, German fest; akin to fast2
Can be confused
fast, quick, rapid, swift (see synonym study at quick)
Synonyms
1, 2. fleet, speedy. See quick. 5. dissipated, dissolute, profligate, immoral; wild, prodigal. 8. secure, tight, immovable, firm. 9. inextricable. 13. faithful, steadfast. 14. enduring. 20. securely, fixedly, tenaciously. 22. recklessly, wildly, prodigally.
Antonyms
1, 2. slow. 5, 6. restrained. 8. loose.

fast2

[fast, fahst] /fæst, fɑst/
verb (used without object)
1.
to abstain from all food.
2.
to eat only sparingly or of certain kinds of food, especially as a religious observance.
verb (used with object)
3.
to cause to abstain entirely from or limit food; put on a fast:
to fast a patient for a day before surgery.
noun
4.
an abstinence from food, or a limiting of one's food, especially when voluntary and as a religious observance; fasting.
5.
a day or period of fasting.
Origin
before 1000; Middle English fasten, Old English fæstan; cognate with German fasten, Gothic fastan, Old Norse fasta
Related forms
unfasting, adjective

fast3

[fast, fahst] /fæst, fɑst/
noun
1.
a chain or rope for mooring a vessel.
Origin
1670-80; alteration, by association with fast1, of late Middle English fest, perhaps noun use of fest, past participle of festen to fasten, or < Old Norse festr mooring rope
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fast
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then hitch them up as fast as you like, and put a good stock of feed in, while we go and get ready.

    Australia Revenged Boomerang
  • But it runs just as fast for the Islander as it does for the Sylvania.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • I know you cannot get on so fast when the holidays are over.

    Principle and Practice Harriet Martineau
  • I soon discovered the Islander and the building, and ran for them as fast as possible.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • In the meanwhile I have quickened the printer and told him to get on fast.

British Dictionary definitions for fast

fast1

/fɑːst/
adjective
1.
acting or moving or capable of acting or moving quickly; swift
2.
accomplished in or lasting a short time: fast work, a fast visit
3.
(prenominal) adapted to or facilitating rapid movement: the fast lane of a motorway
4.
requiring rapidity of action or movement: a fast sport
5.
(of a clock, etc) indicating a time in advance of the correct time
6.
given to an active dissipated life
7.
of or characteristic of such activity: a fast life
8.
not easily moved; firmly fixed; secure
9.
firmly fastened, secured, or shut
10.
steadfast; constant (esp in the phrase fast friends)
11.
(sport) (of a playing surface, running track, etc) conducive to rapid speed, as of a ball used on it or of competitors playing or racing on it
12.
that will not fade or change colour readily: a fast dye
13.
  1. proof against fading: the colour is fast to sunlight
  2. (in combination): washfast
14.
(photog)
  1. requiring a relatively short time of exposure to produce a given density: a fast film
  2. permitting a short exposure time: a fast shutter
15.
(cricket) (of a bowler) characteristically delivering the ball rapidly
16.
(informal) glib or unreliable; deceptive: a fast talker
17.
(archaic) sound; deep: a fast sleep
18.
(informal) a deceptive or unscrupulous trick (esp in the phrase pull a fast one)
19.
fast worker, a person who achieves results quickly, esp in seductions
adverb
20.
quickly; rapidly
21.
soundly; deeply: fast asleep
22.
firmly; tightly
23.
in quick succession
24.
in advance of the correct time: my watch is running fast
25.
in a reckless or dissipated way
26.
(archaic) fast by, fast beside, close or hard by; very near
27.
(informal) play fast and loose, to behave in an insincere or unreliable manner
interjection
28.
(archery) (said by the field captain to archers) stop shooting!
Word Origin
Old English fæst strong, tight; related to Old High German festi firm, Old Norse fastr

fast2

/fɑːst/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to abstain from eating all or certain foods or meals, esp as a religious observance
noun
2.
  1. an act or period of fasting
  2. (as modifier): a fast day
Derived Forms
faster, noun
Word Origin
Old English fæstan; related to Old High German fastēn to fast, Gothic fastan
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
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Word Origin and History for fast
adj.

Old English fæst "firmly fixed, steadfast, secure, enclosed," probably from Proto-Germanic *fastuz (cf. Old Frisian fest, Old Norse fastr, Dutch vast, German fest), from PIE root *past- "firm" (cf. Sanskrit pastyam "dwelling place").

The adverb meaning "quickly, swiftly" was perhaps in Old English, or from Old Norse fast, either way developing from the sense of "firmly, strongly, vigorously" (cf. to run hard means to run fast; also compare fast asleep), or perhaps from the notion of a runner who "sticks" close to whatever he is chasing.

The sense of "living an unrestrained life" (usually of women) is from 1746 (fast living is from 1745). Fast buck recorded from 1947; fast food is first attested 1951. Fast-forward first recorded 1948. Fast lane is by 1966; the fast track originally was in horse-racing (1934); figurative sense by 1960s. To fast talk someone (v.) is recorded by 1946.

v.

Old English fæstan "to fast" (as a religious duty), from Proto-Germanic *fastejan (cf. Old Frisian festia, Old High German fasten, German fasten, Old Norse fasta), from the same root as fast (adj.).

The original meaning was "hold firmly," and the sense evolution is via "firm control of oneself," to "holding to observance" (cf. Gothic fastan "to keep, observe," also "to fast"). Presumably the whole group is a Germanic translation of Medieval Latin observare "to fast." Related: Fasted; fasting.

n.

Old English fæstan, festen, or Old Norse fasta; from the root of fast (v.).

v.

Old English fæstan "to fast" (as a religious duty), from Proto-Germanic *fastejan (cf. Old Frisian festia, Old High German fasten, German fasten, Old Norse fasta), from the same root as fast (adj.).

The original meaning was "hold firmly," and the sense evolution is via "firm control of oneself," to "holding to observance" (cf. Gothic fastan "to keep, observe," also "to fast"). Presumably the whole group is a Germanic translation of Medieval Latin observare "to fast." Related: Fasted; fasting.

n.

Old English fæstan, festen, or Old Norse fasta; from the root of fast (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fast in Medicine

fast 1 (fāst)
adj. fast·er, fast·est

  1. Acting, moving, or being capable of acting or moving quickly.

  2. Accomplished in relatively little time.

  3. Exhibiting resistance to change. Used especially of stained microorganisms that cannot be decolorized.

  4. Firmly fixed or fastened.

fast 2
v. fast·ed, fast·ing, fasts

  1. To abstain from food.

  2. To eat little or abstain from certain foods, especially as a religious discipline.

n.
  1. The act or practice of abstaining from or eating very little food.

  2. A period of such abstention or self-denial.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for fast

fast

adjective

Morally lax; libertine: on Long Island with the fast younger married set (1859+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with fast
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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