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[hur-ee-uhp, huhr-] /ˈhɜr iˌʌp, ˈhʌr-/
characterized by speed or the need for speed; quick:
a hurry-up meal; a hurry-up phone call.
Origin of hurry-up
First recorded in 1885-90; adj. use of verb phrase hurry up


[hur-ee, huhr-ee] /ˈhɜr i, ˈhʌr i/
verb (used without object), hurried, hurrying.
to move, proceed, or act with haste (often followed by up):
Hurry, or we'll be late. Hurry up, it's starting to rain.
verb (used with object), hurried, hurrying.
to drive, carry, or cause to move or perform with speed.
to hasten; urge forward (often followed by up).
to impel or perform with undue haste:
to hurry someone into a decision.
noun, plural hurries.
a state of urgency or eagerness:
to be in a hurry to meet a train.
hurried movement or action; haste.
1580-90; expressive word of uncertain origin, compare Middle English horyed (attested once) rushed, impelled, Middle High German hurren to move quickly
Related forms
hurryingly, adverb
overhurry, verb, overhurried, overhurrying.
unhurrying, adjective
unhurryingly, adverb
1. See rush1 . 2. hasten. 3. accelerate, quicken; expedite, hustle. 6. celerity; expedition, dispatch; speed, quickness; bustle, ado.
3. delay, slow. 6. deliberation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hurry-up
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I also found that I was being sent on all the hurry-up work.

    One Way Out William Carleton
  • "We were giving Abdul a 'bit of hurry-up up' at Quinn's," he said.

  • It was only when I was on the "hurry-up," however, that I worked alone.

    The Autobiography of a Thief Hutchins Hapgood
  • The manager was crazy, and told him to send for a hurry-up wagon, and run us all in.

    Harvard Stories Waldron Kintzing Post
  • Don't miss it—or they'll drag you there in the hurry-up wagon.

    Cupid's Middleman Edward B. Lent
  • Seems like there was some hurry-up reason that she explained to you private.

    The Uphill Climb

    B. M. Bower
  • I'll come out about two-thirty and pay a hurry-up five-minute call.

    Big Timber Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • It was rather late on the following afternoon that Florence received a hurry-up call from Danby Force.

    Gypsy Flight Roy J. Snell
British Dictionary definitions for hurry-up


verb -ries, -rying, -ried
(intransitive) often foll by up. to hasten (to do something); rush
(transitive) often foll by along. to speed up the completion, progress, etc, of
urgency or eagerness
(informal) in a hurry
  1. easily: you won't beat him in a hurry
  2. willingly: we won't go there again in a hurry
Derived Forms
hurrying, noun, adjective
hurryingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16 horyen, probably of imitative origin; compare Middle High German hurren; see scurry
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 hurry-up



1590, first recorded in Shakespeare, who used it often; perhaps a variant of harry (v.), or perhaps a West Midlands sense of Middle English hurren "to vibrate rapidly, buzz," from Proto-Germanic *hurza "to move with haste" (cf. Middle High German hurren "to whir, move fast," Old Swedish hurra "to whirl round"), which also perhaps is the root of hurl. Related: hurried; hurrying.



c.1600, probably from hurry (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hurry-up


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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