- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for rapid on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rapid
The rapid rise of the sharing economy is changing the way people around the world commute, shop, vacation, and borrow.Why Do ‘Progressives’ Want to Ban Uber and AirBnB?
Adam Thierer, Christopher Koopman
December 30, 2014
He experienced a rapid rise, only beginning to play cricket competitively at age 11.The Story of the World’s Greatest Cricket Player
December 24, 2014
In some ways, the rapid spread of the virus there should not be surprising.Millions Promised for Ebola Not Adding Up
November 25, 2014
The loss of whitebark and the rapid increase in human-killed grizzlies are synchronous.What It Takes to Kill a Grizzly Bear
November 23, 2014
The country was building houses at a rapid clip, which required a large amount of immigrant labor.Legal but Still Poor: The Economic Consequences of Amnesty
November 21, 2014
A rapid walk soon restored the maidens to their own peaceful homes.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
They were on the bank of a stream of some width, and apparently a deep and rapid one.Harriet, The Moses of Her People
Sarah H. Bradford
We regret that his tours are so rapid, and his journals so brief.
She heard him speaking in a voice not louder than a whisper, rapid, distinct.Way of the Lawless
The way was open; the access was free; the progress as rapid as thought could make it.The Conquest of Fear
- (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
Word Origin and History for rapid
1630s, "moving quickly," from French rapide (17c.) and directly from Latin rapidus "hasty, swift, rapid; snatching; fierce, impetuous," from rapere "hurry away, carry off, seize, plunder," from PIE root *rep- "to snatch" (cf. Greek ereptomai "devour," harpazein "snatch away," Lithuanian raples "tongs"). Meaning "happening in a short time" is from 1780. Related: Rapidly; rapidness. Rapid-transit first attested 1852, in reference to street railways; rapid eye movement is from 1906.