adjective, fast·er, fast·est.
- indicating a time in advance of the correct time, as of a clock.
- noting or according to daylight-saving time.
- (of money, profits, etc.) made quickly or easily and sometimes deviously: He earned some fast change helping the woman with her luggage.
- cleverly quick and manipulative in making money: a fast operator when it comes to closing a business deal.
- (of a lens) able to transmit a relatively large amount of light in a relatively short time.
- (of a film) requiring a relatively short exposure time to attain a given density.
- (of a track condition) completely dry.
- (of a track surface) very hard.
adverb, fast·er, fast·est.
Origin of fast1
Synonyms for fast
Antonyms for fast
Examples from the Web for fastest
Contemporary Examples of fastest
Latinos, the fastest growing minority group in America, are even more underrepresented in Congress.The Unbearable Whiteness of Congress
January 8, 2015
Young, hip, urban millennials are using tools like Instagram to become one of the fastest growing travel markets.‘We Out Here’: Inside the New Black Travel Movement
January 4, 2015
Furthermore, mixed race children are the fastest growing population in the country.Obama Is Right on Race. The Media Is Wrong.
December 29, 2014
American fighter planes are the fastest, most maneuverable jets in the world.Pentagon Worries That Russia Can Now Outshoot U.S. Stealth Jets
December 4, 2014
And virtually all the fastest growth urban regions—Houston, Dallas-Ft.The Progressives’ War on Suburbia
November 16, 2014
Historical Examples of fastest
He has a new auto, you know, and he boasts that it's the fastest one in this country.Tom Swift and his Electric Runabout
She would swim her fastest, as if really anxious to escape him.A Spirit in Prison
In how many hours might one ride to Carlisle at the fastest—in the night and in a cart?The Shadow of a Crime
He has a game where you can race the fastest cars in the world.
And now the cricket is the fastest and fanciest hopper there is.
- proof against fadingthe colour is fast to sunlight
- (in combination)washfast
- requiring a relatively short time of exposure to produce a given densitya fast film
- permitting a short exposure timea fast shutter
Word Origin for fast
- an act or period of fasting
- (as modifier)a fast day
Word Origin for fast
Old English fæst "firmly fixed, steadfast, secure, enclosed," probably from Proto-Germanic *fastuz (cf. Old Frisian fest, Old Norse fastr, Dutch vast, German fest), from PIE root *past- "firm" (cf. Sanskrit pastyam "dwelling place").
The adverb meaning "quickly, swiftly" was perhaps in Old English, or from Old Norse fast, either way developing from the sense of "firmly, strongly, vigorously" (cf. to run hard means to run fast; also compare fast asleep), or perhaps from the notion of a runner who "sticks" close to whatever he is chasing.
The sense of "living an unrestrained life" (usually of women) is from 1746 (fast living is from 1745). Fast buck recorded from 1947; fast food is first attested 1951. Fast-forward first recorded 1948. Fast lane is by 1966; the fast track originally was in horse-racing (1934); figurative sense by 1960s. To fast talk someone (v.) is recorded by 1946.
Old English fæstan "to fast" (as a religious duty), from Proto-Germanic *fastejan (cf. Old Frisian festia, Old High German fasten, German fasten, Old Norse fasta), from the same root as fast (adj.).
The original meaning was "hold firmly," and the sense evolution is via "firm control of oneself," to "holding to observance" (cf. Gothic fastan "to keep, observe," also "to fast"). Presumably the whole group is a Germanic translation of Medieval Latin observare "to fast." Related: Fasted; fasting.
Old English fæstan, festen, or Old Norse fasta; from the root of fast (v.).
In addition to the idioms beginning with fast
- fast and furious
- fast and loose
- fast buck
- fast lane
- fast track
- get nowhere (fast)
- hard and fast
- pull a fast one
- stand one's ground (fast)
- thick and fast