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90s Slang You Should Know


[kwik-uh n] /ˈkwɪk ən/
verb (used with object)
to make more rapid; accelerate; hasten:
She quickened her pace.
to give or restore vigor or activity to; stir up, rouse, or stimulate:
to quicken the imagination.
to revive; restore life to:
The spring rains quickened the earth.
verb (used without object)
to become more active, sensitive, etc.:
This drug causes the pulse to quicken.
to become alive; receive life.
(of the mother) to enter that stage of pregnancy in which the fetus gives indications of life.
(of a fetus in the womb) to begin to manifest signs of life.
Origin of quicken
First recorded in 1250-1300, quicken is from the Middle English word quikenen. See quick, -en1
Related forms
quickener, noun
requicken, verb
unquickened, adjective
2. animate, vitalize, enliven. 3. vivify. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for quicken
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And now suddenly her heartbeat began to quicken again until its thumping became tumultuous.

    The White Moll Frank L. Packard
  • Jim breathed a sigh of relief as they cleared the crowd and could quicken their pace.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • My soul hath cleaved to the pavement: quicken thou me according to thy word.

  • They waited for God to move them, quicken them to life, make them His instruments.

  • Food which would disgust the healthy appetite, will not quicken into action the debilitated and flickering sensation of taste.

    Martyria Augustus C. Hamlin
  • The very sharpness of the contrast used to quicken his sense of pleasure.

  • I asked, sharply, rather to quicken his wits than to express anger.

    Down The River Oliver Optic
  • I think, too, that they quicken all the child's faculties, because they stimulate the imagination.

    Story of My Life Helen Keller
  • With that, a new sense of power, greater than Lilla had ever seen in her, seemed to quicken her cousin.

British Dictionary definitions for quicken


to make or become faster; accelerate: he quickened his walk, her heartbeat quickened with excitement
to impart to or receive vigour, enthusiasm, etc; stimulate or be stimulated: science quickens man's imagination
to make or become alive; revive
  1. (of an unborn fetus) to begin to show signs of life
  2. (of a pregnant woman) to reach the stage of pregnancy at which movements of the fetus can be felt
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 quicken

c.1300, "come to life; give life to," from quick (adj.) + -en (1). Meaning "become faster" is from 1805. Related: Quickened; quickening. An earlier verb was simply quick (c.1200), from Old English gecwician.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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quicken in Medicine

quicken quick·en (kwĭk'ən)
v. quick·ened, quick·en·ing, quick·ens

  1. To become more rapid.

  2. To reach the stage of pregnancy when the fetus can be felt to move.

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