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.
- fashoda incident,
- fassbinder, rainer werner,
- fast and furious,
- fast and loose,
- fast break,
- fast buck,
- fast casual
Origin of fast1
- 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.).
pull a fast one
Also, put over a fast one. Engage in a deceitful practice or play an unfair trick. For example, He pulled a fast one when he gave me that fake employment record, or She tried to put over a fast one, but we found out in time to stop her. [Slang; c. 1920]
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