[ speed ]
/ spid /
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See synonyms for: speed / sped / speeding on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), sped [sped] /spɛd/ or speed·ed, speed·ing.
verb (used without object), sped [sped] /spɛd/ or speed·ed, speed·ing.
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Idioms about speed

    at full / top speed,
    1. at the greatest speed possible: We drove down the highway at full speed.
    2. to the maximum of one's capabilities; with great rapidity: He worked at full speed.
    up to speed,
    1. operating at full or optimum speed.
    2. functioning or producing at an expected, acceptable, or competitive level; up to par: a new firm not yet up to speed.

Origin of speed

First recorded before 900; 1965–70 for def. 6; (noun) Middle English spede “good luck, prosperity, rapidity,” Old English spēd; cognate with Dutch spoed, Old High German spōt; akin to Old English spōwan “to prosper, succeed”; (verb) Middle English speden “to succeed, prosper, go with speed,” Old English spēdan “to succeed, prosper”; cognate with Old Saxon spōdian, Old High German spuoten

synonym study for speed

1, 2. Speed, velocity, quickness, rapidity, celerity, haste refer to swift or energetic movement or operation. Speed (originally prosperity or success) may apply to human or nonhuman activity and emphasizes the rate in time at which something travels or operates: the speed of light, of a lens, of an automobile, of thought. Velocity, a more learned or technical term, is sometimes interchangeable with speed : the velocity of light; it is commonly used to refer to high rates of speed, linear or circular: velocity of a projectile. Quickness, a native word, and rapidity, a synonym of Latin origin, suggest speed of movement or operation on a small or subordinate scale; quickness applies more to people ( quickness of mind, of perception, of bodily movement ), rapidity more to things, often in a technical or mechanical context: the rapidity of moving parts; a lens of great rapidity. Celerity, a somewhat literary synonym of Latin origin, refers usually to human movement or operation and emphasizes expedition, dispatch, or economy in an activity: the celerity of his response. Haste refers to the energetic activity of human beings under stress; it often suggests lack of opportunity for care or thought: to marry in haste; a report prepared in haste. 16. See rush1.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use speed in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for speed

/ (spiːd) /

verb speeds, speeding, sped or speeded
See also speed up

Derived forms of speed

speeder, noun

Word Origin for speed

Old English spēd (originally in the sense: success); related to spōwan to succeed, Latin spēs hope, Old Slavonic spěti to be lucky
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

Scientific definitions for speed

[ spēd ]

The ratio of the distance traveled by an object (regardless of its direction) to the time required to travel that distance. Compare velocity.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with speed


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.