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[lik-i-tee-split] /ˈlɪk ɪ tiˈsplɪt/
adverb, Informal.
at great speed; rapidly:
to travel lickety-split.
Origin of lickety-split
1835-45, Americanism; perhaps dial. licket rag (for wiping in haste, with one lick) + -y1 + split, as in split second Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lickety-split
Historical Examples
  • A man was coming down from the north, lickety-split on a roan with a rangy stride.

    Curly Roger Pocock
  • And away he goes at the head of the string, lickety-split for the beach.

  • And Beagle heard a noise he thought was a fox barking and he started for the tamarack swamp, lickety-split.

    Nan Sherwood at Pine Camp Annie Roe Carr
  • I never stopped to ast her nothin', fo' I seen yuh a kitin' down street, an' I put after yuh, lickety-split.

    A Sweet Little Maid Amy E. Blanchard
  • On he fled, across the crisp fields, leaped the fence and struck the road, lickety-split!

  • He drives helter-skelter, lickety-split, and never takes care of his car at all.

    The Car That Went Abroad

    Albert Bigelow Paine
  • They must have seed the carriage drivin' away, and thought for sure it had the gal in it, and they was after it, lickety-split.

    The Stories of the Three Burglars Frank Richard Stockton
  • She thought her last-day was come, with the fences streaking past her lickety-split.

    Across the Fruited Plain

    Florence Crannell Means
British Dictionary definitions for lickety-split


(US & Canadian, informal) very quickly; speedily
Word Origin
C19: from lick + split
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 lickety-split

1852, American English (earlier lickety-cut, lickety-click, and simply licketie, 1817), from lick (n.1) in dialectal sense "very fast sprint in a race" (1809) on the notion of a "lick" as a fast thing (cf. blink).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for lickety-split



Very fast: Felt he just had to get a lawyer lickity-split

[1859+; fr lick, ''speed, a spurt of speed,'' found by 1809; earlier forms lickety-cut, lickety-click, lickety liner, and lickety switch are found in the 1830s and 1840s]

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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