- done, proceeding, or occurring with promptness or rapidity, as an action, process, etc.; prompt; immediate: a quick response.
- that is over or completed within a short interval of time: a quick shower.
- moving, or able to move, with speed: a quick fox; a quick train.
- swift or rapid, as motion: a quick flick of the wrist.
- easily provoked or excited; hasty: a quick temper.
- keenly responsive; lively; acute: a quick wit.
- acting with swiftness or rapidity: a quick worker.
- prompt or swift to do something: quick to respond.
- prompt to perceive; sensitive: a quick eye.
- prompt to understand, learn, etc.; of ready intelligence: a quick student.
- (of a bend or curve) sharp: a quick bend in the road.
- consisting of living plants: a quick pot of flowers.
- brisk, as fire, flames, heat, etc.
- endowed with life.
- having a high degree of vigor, energy, or activity.
- living persons: the quick and the dead.
- the tender, sensitive flesh of the living body, especially that under the nails: nails bitten down to the quick.
- the vital or most important part.
- Chiefly British.
- a line of shrubs or plants, especially of hawthorn, forming a hedge.
- a single shrub or plant in such a hedge.
- cut to the quick, to injure deeply; hurt the feelings of: Their callous treatment cut her to the quick.
Origin of quick
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for quickness
“With so many more head cases, quickness is the key to survival and a productive life” after a devastating injury.Pronounced Dead in Vietnam, Lt. Bill Haneke Inspires Post-9/11 Veterans
November 11, 2012
This quickness upon me, interrupted my mother, is not to be borne!
So turning from me, she spoke with quickness, Whither now, Clary Harlowe?
Your young mistress has contributed a great deal to this quickness of yours.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
The thought did not present itself so quietly but that her quickness intercepted it.Little Dorrit
I was a little afraid of his raillery, and of the quickness of his observation.Tales And Novels, Volume 9 (of 10)
- (of an action, movement, etc) performed or occurring during a comparatively short timea quick move
- lasting a comparatively short time; briefa quick flight
- accomplishing something in a time that is shorter than normala quick worker
- characterized by rapidity of movement; swift or fasta quick walker
- immediate or prompta quick reply
- (postpositive) eager or ready to perform (an action)quick to criticize
- responsive to stimulation; perceptive or alert; livelya quick eye
- eager or enthusiastic for learninga quick intelligence
- easily excited or arouseda quick temper
- skilfully swift or nimble in one's movements or actions; deftquick fingers
- alive; living
- (as noun)living people (esp in the phrase the quick and the dead)
- archaic, or dialect lively or eagera quick dog
- (of a fire) burning briskly
- composed of living plantsa quick hedge
- dialect (of sand) lacking firmness through being wet
- quick with child archaic pregnant, esp being in an advanced state of pregnancy, when the movements of the fetus can be felt
- any area of living flesh that is highly sensitive to pain or touch, esp that under a toenail or fingernail or around a healing wound
- the vital or most important part (of a thing)
- short for quickset (def. 1)
- cut someone to the quick to hurt someone's feelings deeply; offend gravely
- in a rapid or speedy manner; swiftly
- soonI hope he comes quick
- a command requiring the hearer to perform an action immediately or in as short a time as possible
Word Origin and History for quickness
Old English cwic "living, alive, animate," and figuratively, of mental qualities, "rapid, ready," from Proto-Germanic *kwikwaz (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian quik, Old Norse kvikr "living, alive," Dutch kwik "lively, bright, sprightly," Old High German quec "lively," German keck "bold"), from PIE root *gweie- "to live" (see bio-). Sense of "lively, swift" developed by late 12c., on notion of "full of life."
NE swift or the now more common fast may apply to rapid motion of any duration, while in quick (in accordance with its original sense of 'live, lively') there is a notion of 'sudden' or 'soon over.' We speak of a fast horse or runner in a race, a quick starter but not a quick horse. A somewhat similar feeling may distinguish NHG schnell and rasch or it may be more a matter of local preference. [Buck]
Of persons, "mentally active," from late 15c. Also in Middle English used of soft soils, gravel pits, etc. where the ground is shifting and yielding (mid-14c., cf. quicksand). As an adverb from c.1300. To be quick about something is from 1937. Quick buck is from 1946, American English. Quick-change artist (1886) originally was an actor expert in playing different roles in the same performance of a show. Quick-witted is from 1520s.
"living persons," Old English cwic, from quick (adj.); frequently paired with the dead, e.g. Old English cwicum & deadum. The quick "tender part of the flesh" (under a nail, etc.) is from 1520s, as is the figurative use of it.
- Sensitive or raw exposed flesh, as under the fingernails.