[ 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.


Nearby words

  1. raphe of perineum,
  2. raphe of scrotum,
  3. raphia,
  4. raphide,
  5. raphides,
  6. rapid canities,
  7. rapid chess,
  8. rapid city,
  9. rapid deployment force,
  10. rapid eye movement

Origin of rapid

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

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

Can be confusedfast 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 rapids

British Dictionary definitions for rapids


/ (ˈræpɪdz) /

pl n

part of a river where the current is very fast and turbulent


/ (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 Formsrapidly, 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

Word Origin and History for rapids
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper