See more synonyms for quick on Thesaurus.com
adjective, quick·er, quick·est.
  1. done, proceeding, or occurring with promptness or rapidity, as an action, process, etc.; prompt; immediate: a quick response.
  2. that is over or completed within a short interval of time: a quick shower.
  3. moving, or able to move, with speed: a quick fox; a quick train.
  4. swift or rapid, as motion: a quick flick of the wrist.
  5. easily provoked or excited; hasty: a quick temper.
  6. keenly responsive; lively; acute: a quick wit.
  7. acting with swiftness or rapidity: a quick worker.
  8. prompt or swift to do something: quick to respond.
  9. prompt to perceive; sensitive: a quick eye.
  10. prompt to understand, learn, etc.; of ready intelligence: a quick student.
  11. (of a bend or curve) sharp: a quick bend in the road.
  12. consisting of living plants: a quick pot of flowers.
  13. brisk, as fire, flames, heat, etc.
  14. Archaic.
    1. endowed with life.
    2. having a high degree of vigor, energy, or activity.
  1. living persons: the quick and the dead.
  2. the tender, sensitive flesh of the living body, especially that under the nails: nails bitten down to the quick.
  3. the vital or most important part.
  4. Chiefly British.
    1. a line of shrubs or plants, especially of hawthorn, forming a hedge.
    2. a single shrub or plant in such a hedge.
adverb, quick·er, quick·est.
  1. quickly.
  1. cut to the quick, to injure deeply; hurt the feelings of: Their callous treatment cut her to the quick.

Origin of quick

before 900; Middle English quik lively, moving, swift; Old English cwic, cwicu living; cognate with Old Saxon quik, German queck, keck, Old Norse kvikr; akin to Latin vīvus living (see vital), Sanskrit jivas living, Greek bíos life (see bio-), zoḗ animal life (see zoo-)
Related formsquick·ness, nounun·quick, adjectiveun·quick·ly, adverbun·quick·ness, noun
Can be confusedfast quick rapid swift (see synonym study at the current entry)quick quickly (see usage note at the current entry)

Synonyms for quick

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1. fleet, expeditious. Quick, fast, swift, rapid describe speedy tempo. Quick applies particularly to something practically instantaneous, an action or reaction, perhaps, of very brief duration: to give a quick look around; to take a quick walk. Fast and swift refer to actions, movements, etc., that continue for a time, and usually to those that are uninterrupted; when used of communication, transportation, and the like, they suggest a definite goal and a continuous trip. Swift, the more formal word, suggests the greater speed: a fast train; a swift message. Rapid, less speedy than the others, applies to a rate of movement or action, and usually to a series of actions or movements, related or unrelated: rapid calculation; a rapid walker. 5. abrupt, curt, short, precipitate. 7. nimble, agile, brisk. 10. See sharp.

Antonyms for quick

1, 10. slow.

Usage note

The difference between the adverbial forms quick and quickly is frequently stylistic. Quick is more often used in short spoken sentences, especially imperative ones: Come quick! The chimney is on fire. Quickly is the usual form in writing, both in the preverb position ( We quickly realized that attempts to negotiate would be futile ) and following verbs other than imperatives ( She turned quickly and left ). See also slow, sure.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for quicker

Contemporary Examples of quicker

Historical Examples of quicker

  • Because the albaboss is quicker and more powerful in action.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • A person can learn them 'most anything; and they learn it quicker than any other cretur, too.

    Tom Sawyer Abroad

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • And yet Aggie had a quicker and more intelligent look than Lady Castlederry.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • He and Rose would have to get down to a genuine basis, and the quicker the better.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • The quicker wit of the young woman first scented his meaning.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for quicker


  1. (of an action, movement, etc) performed or occurring during a comparatively short timea quick move
  2. lasting a comparatively short time; briefa quick flight
  3. accomplishing something in a time that is shorter than normala quick worker
  4. characterized by rapidity of movement; swift or fasta quick walker
  5. immediate or prompta quick reply
  6. (postpositive) eager or ready to perform (an action)quick to criticize
  7. responsive to stimulation; perceptive or alert; livelya quick eye
  8. eager or enthusiastic for learninga quick intelligence
  9. easily excited or arouseda quick temper
  10. skilfully swift or nimble in one's movements or actions; deftquick fingers
  11. archaic
    1. alive; living
    2. (as noun)living people (esp in the phrase the quick and the dead)
  12. archaic, or dialect lively or eagera quick dog
  13. (of a fire) burning briskly
  14. composed of living plantsa quick hedge
  15. dialect (of sand) lacking firmness through being wet
  16. quick with child archaic pregnant, esp being in an advanced state of pregnancy, when the movements of the fetus can be felt
  1. 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
  2. the vital or most important part (of a thing)
  3. short for quickset (def. 1)
  4. cut someone to the quick to hurt someone's feelings deeply; offend gravely
adverb informal
  1. in a rapid or speedy manner; swiftly
  2. soonI hope he comes quick
  1. a command requiring the hearer to perform an action immediately or in as short a time as possible
Derived Formsquickly, adverbquickness, noun

Word Origin for quick

Old English cwicu living; related to Old Saxon quik, Old High German queck, Old Norse kvikr alive, Latin vīvus alive, Greek bios life
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

Word Origin and History for quicker



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

quicker in Medicine


  1. Sensitive or raw exposed flesh, as under the fingernails.
  1. Pregnant.
  2. Alive.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with quicker


In addition to the idioms beginning with quick

  • quick and the dead
  • quick as a wink
  • quick off the mark
  • quick one, a
  • quick on the draw
  • quick on the uptake

also see:

  • cut to the quick
  • (quick) on the uptake
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.