adjective, quick·er, quick·est.
- endowed with life.
- having a high degree of vigor, energy, or activity.
- a line of shrubs or plants, especially of hawthorn, forming a hedge.
- a single shrub or plant in such a hedge.
adverb, quick·er, quick·est.
- quiche lorraine,
- quick and the dead,
- quick as a wink,
- quick assets,
- quick bread,
- quick draw
Origin of quick
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|Sandra McElwaine|November 11, 2012|DAILY BEAST
The Prophet rose and rushed at her; but Sarah, with the quickness of lightning, flew between them.The Black Prophet: A Tale Of Irish Famine|William Carleton
In the quickness of the lightning's flash, the whole truth beamed into Eveline's soul.Eveline Mandeville|Alvin Addison
Remember it is not size and strength that are of most importance, it is quickness and intelligence.No Surrender!|G. A. Henty
Gomez flinched, but recovered his calm with a quickness that showed Walthew he had a dangerous antagonist.The Coast of Adventure|Harold Bindloss
In spite of Maxwell's quickness, he had not reached the doorway when a man came out of it and advanced, smiling toward him.The League of the Leopard|Harold Bindloss
- alive; living
- (as noun)living people (esp in the phrase the quick and the dead)
Word Origin for quick
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.
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
- cut to the quick
- (quick) on the uptake