[ rap-id ]
/ ˈræp ɪd /

adjective, sometimes rap·id·er, rap·id·est.

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

First recorded in 1625–35, rapid is from the Latin word rapidus tearing away, seizing, swift. See rape1, -id4

Related forms

rap·id·ly, adverbul·tra·rap·id, adjectiveul·tra·rap·id·ly, adverb

Can be confused

fast quick rapid swift (see synonym study at quick)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rapid

British Dictionary definitions for rapid


/ (ˈræpɪd) /


(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
See also rapids

Derived Forms

rapidly, adverbrapidity (rəˈpɪdɪtɪ) or rapidness, noun

Word Origin for rapid

C17: from Latin rapidus tearing away, from rapere to seize; see rape 1
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