- occurring within a short time; happening speedily: rapid growth.
- moving or acting with great speed; swift: a rapid worker.
- characterized by speed: rapid motion.
- Usually rapids. a part of a river where the current runs very swiftly.
Origin of rapid
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rapids
Halfway down the river, as they headed toward the rapids, the security line broke, and they were headed for some rocks.The Stacks: Mr. Bad Taste and Trouble Himself: Robert Mitchum
July 19, 2014
Just one more note of caution before we descend down the rapids of morality and ethics.Never Forget? The CIA Report and the Problem With Hindsight
March 15, 2014
What will he tell his kids about what we can expect from our leaders as we navigate the rapids of world problems?Citizen Affleck
March 30, 2009
There was no time to examine the rapids before we shot them.
The rapids continued the characteristic of the river and were terrific.
There are, however, in this distance but two rapids necessitating portages.
At the foot of “The Rapids” the effect of the spring tides is barely perceptible.
The first rapids in the Red River are said to be eight miles above its mouth.
- part of a river where the current is very fast and turbulent
- (of an action or movement) performed or occurring during a short interval of time; quicka rapid transformation
- characterized by high speedrapid movement
- acting or moving quickly; fasta rapid worker
Word Origin and History for rapids
1765, from French rapides (see rapid); applied by French voyagers to rough, swift-flowing reaches in North American rivers.
1630s, "moving quickly," from French rapide (17c.) and directly from Latin rapidus "hasty, swift, rapid; snatching; fierce, impetuous," from rapere "hurry away, carry off, seize, plunder," from PIE root *rep- "to snatch" (cf. Greek ereptomai "devour," harpazein "snatch away," Lithuanian raples "tongs"). Meaning "happening in a short time" is from 1780. Related: Rapidly; rapidness. Rapid-transit first attested 1852, in reference to street railways; rapid eye movement is from 1906.