Meaning of speed in English:

speed

Pronunciation /spiːd/

See synonyms for speed

Translate speed into Spanish

noun

  • 1mass noun The rate at which someone or something moves or operates or is able to move or operate.

    ‘we turned on to the runway and began to gather speed’
    • ‘an engine running at full speed’
    • ‘the car has a top speed of 147 mph’
    • ‘Everyone began moving at their top speed out of the dungeon and through the halls.’
    • ‘It's said that London traffic moves at an average speed of 11 mph, but pedestrian traffic can't be far behind.’
    • ‘It does a reasonably good job of this, especially when you consider that there is a broad range of craft in the game, most of which differ in turn rates and top speeds.’
    • ‘Its operationally loaded top speed is rated around 38 nautical miles per hour.’
    • ‘Able to reach speeds of 60 mph for a short time, it is the second-fastest land animal on earth; only the cheetah is faster.’
    • ‘Maria peaked late on Monday as a Category 3 hurricane with top wind speeds at 115 mph.’
    • ‘It also has mirrors under the bonnet to give a double effect to the engine and reaches top speeds of 145 mph.’
    • ‘This results in a top speed of 104 mph and the dash from 0-62 is covered in 11.08 seconds.’
    • ‘Hitting a top speed of only 35 mph - half that of today's fire engines - the vehicles have no radio, but are likely to have a police escort.’
    • ‘‘I am well pleased with that,’ said Weir, who hit a top speed of 21 mph in the last 100m.’
    • ‘But even the extra weight failed to dent the 330 horsepower output, providing a top speed of 144 mph.’
    • ‘That's enough to catapult it to 60 mph in 10.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 113 mph.’
    • ‘Mark has reached a top speed of 325 mph before he deploys a parachute at 3,000 ft above the ground.’
    • ‘It has more room for paramedics to work and has a top speed of 155 mph.’
    • ‘Officers said the top speed was 146 mph - a record in the region.’
    • ‘And the 67 year old bachelor told a court that he certainly hadn't been stopped for speeding, because the vehicle had a top speed of just 15 mph.’
    • ‘With a top speed of around 70 mph, Karen's boat was the first to go out and took about 15 minutes to negotiate the dock's L-shaped course.’
    • ‘The car, which runs on motorcycle tyres, can still manage 40 miles to the gallon, although its top speed is only 45 mph.’
    • ‘The plane, with a top speed of just 30 mph crashed at least once in trials but flew on other occasions.’
    • ‘Now the car, with a top speed of 200 mph, is for sale as the main asset of the firm, which went into liquidation.’
    rate, pace, tempo, momentum
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Rapidity of movement or action.
      ‘the accident was due to excessive speed’
      • ‘The accident happened due to excessive speed, contributed to by the condition of the near side rear tyre.’
      • ‘‘The cause of this collision is due to excessive speed,’ PC Cox said.’
      • ‘He said the ‘unfortunate’ accident was due to excessive speed and the torrential rain.’
      • ‘At times in the first half the All Ireland champions' movement and speed of execution was awesome and Kildare did well to just hang in there.’
      • ‘A double-page album conveys all the panic, speed, ferocity, movement and verve of the hunt.’
      • ‘She pointed out that excessive speed, improper overtaking and unexpected events were huge contributory factors.’
      • ‘It was not caused by the weight of concrete in the wagons, the bridge structure, vandalism on the line, or excessive train speed.’
      • ‘In Florence he met the Italian Futurists, yet, unlike them, he was less interested in speed and movement than in the effects of colour and light in his work.’
      • ‘I'm learning speed and explosive movements, and in the past six months, I've been doing yoga for flexibility.’
      • ‘His movements returned to normal speed, and he dashed toward Abaddon.’
      • ‘Your muscle fibres will be more receptive to growth and reaction time will increase, thus increasing speed and movement.’
      • ‘Loss of blood had sapped his movements of speed, but he still felt refreshed.’
      • ‘He gave a low chuckle before, in a sudden movement and with surprising speed, he kicked me across the face.’
      • ‘The web implants were fairly simple to master, and significantly increased speed of movement underwater.’
      • ‘We have been told by the police it would appear the vehicle was being driven at excessive speed.’
      • ‘Five of these collisions were caused by alcohol or drugs resulting in six deaths and two collisions were caused by excessive speed resulting in two deaths.’
      • ‘PC Clark said excessive speed and the fact he was two-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit were the primary factors behind the smash.’
      • ‘He emphasised that there was still much work to be done in reducing speeds even further and in changing attitudes towards excessive and inappropriate speed.’
      • ‘Knowing how and when to release these joints is critical to facility, ease of movement and speed.’
      • ‘It seems the children quickly appreciated their own limitations and adapted their speed and movements to their abilities.’
      rapidity, swiftness, speediness, alacrity, quickness, fastness, celerity, velocity, dispatch, promptness, immediacy, expeditiousness, expedition, briskness, sharpness
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2The rate at which something happens or is done.
      ‘they were bemused by the speed of events’
      • ‘the course is delivered online so students can progress at their own speed’
      • ‘I just want to bring you up to speed.’
      • ‘The speed with which the 76-year-old tycoon has moved has staggered most observers.’
      • ‘Our results also suggest that clonal interference may not have a large effect on the speed of adaptation.’
      • ‘Everyone goes about doing this at his or her own speed.’
      • ‘This may impact the overall speed of your local LAN.’
      • ‘At the sort of speed you should have been travelling this collision would have been wholly avoidable.’
      • ‘Regulate the speed, remembering that the normal speed for projection is 16 pictures per second.’
      • ‘The second tactic is rather more controversial - the use of part numbers performance ratings to suggest a higher clock speed than is actually the case.’
      • ‘The speed with which Bush moved to impose this ban on aid is also significant.’
      • ‘It may also surprise you to learn that the closing speed at which aircraft collide is typically relatively slow.’
      • ‘Up until QuantiSpeed was introduced, many users were accustomed to rating the speed of a computer by its raw MHz number.’
      • ‘Weight deals specifically with speed and how much of a burden the character is on their craft, which can affect its speed.’
      • ‘But high prices in major cities are curbing the speed of the movement of workers.’
      • ‘Mansfield Park has seen such an exodus of players during the summer that the turnstiles must have been rotating at the speed of a carnival ride.’
      • ‘Qualifying and practice speeds show that Dodge has found something that gives the Intrepids an edge.’
      • ‘Paraffin will get you in the ballpark, but low fluoro will get you more speed.’
      • ‘As your speed rises the engine joins in, but so seamlessly that you will struggle to identify the moment it happens.’
      • ‘Survivors of Australia's bushfires told over the weekend of their mounting surprise, and then panic, at the sheer scale and speed of the unfolding disaster.’
      • ‘Starting this season Olga and I work twice a week on stroking exercises, which has really helped the speed in my programs and my overall ice coverage.’
      • ‘Space and time both turn out to be relative, measurements of length and intervals of time turn out to depend on the relative speeds of the objects in question.’
    3. 1.3one's speedinformal Something that matches one's tastes or inclinations.
      • ‘oak tables and chairs are more his speed’
  • 2Each of the possible gear ratios of a bicycle or motor vehicle.

    gear ratio, speed
    View synonyms
  • 3The light-gathering power or f-number of a camera lens.

    ‘Lens speed indicates how bright the image in the viewfinder will be.’
    • ‘I'm not sure I can give you the correct information on the lens speed.’
    1. 3.1The duration of a photographic exposure.
      ‘This will provide an extra stop of exposure; remember to set it back to the correct speed once the fog or mist has burned off.’
      • ‘Scott also plays with lenses, camera speed and some excellent special effects to heighten the impact of the harrowing fight scenes.’
      • ‘As camera speeds became quicker, so the image was transformed.’
    2. 3.2The sensitivity of photographic film to light.
      ‘Films also vary according to their ISO number or film speed: their sensitivity to light.’
      • ‘The days of having to carry bulk film around or switch between different film types and speeds is now a distant memory for those who have made the technology leap.’
      • ‘He discusses camera types, lenses, focal length, flash, light, digital photographs, and film types and speeds.’
      • ‘The slower the film speed, the finer the grain and the intensity of the colours will be better.’
      • ‘Once you have adjusted the film speed to the number of exposures that you want to use, then all you have to do is just meter and shoot the scene.’
      • ‘The basic exposure is F16 and the shutter speed would be the closest to the film speed that you are using.’
      • ‘Shutter speeds, aperture, choice of film speed, focus, focal length… you get what I mean.’
      • ‘Taking into account the speed of the film, it then sets the camera's controls for the optimum exposure.’
  • 4informal mass noun An amphetamine drug, especially methamphetamine.

    • ‘Aimed at drug users and their families, the film centres on former drug addicts who were addicted to heroin cocaine, speed and ecstasy.’
    • ‘Drugs such as speed and cocaine are often mixed together to make a lethal concoction that can destroy lives.’
    • ‘Banning parties and blockading raves will not stop a movement, nor will it stop the use of ecstasy, cocaine, speed, heroin and pot for that matter.’
    • ‘If, however, you have a normal functioning brain, you will feel like you are on speed (amphetamines).’
    • ‘George himself had previously used drugs, primarily speed, and had at one time operated a methamphetamine laboratory.’
    • ‘You don't want to develop any addictions to cocaine or speed.’
    • ‘What about the other evidence about him in the toilet pacing backwards and forwards, with expletives and asking everyone who came in for a line of drugs - speed?’
    • ‘He was consuming drugs on a daily basis, including LSD, peyote, marijuana, and speed.’
    • ‘There were times when he would spend all of his money on speed or marijuana and get so high his mind would blur and all he could think about was having a another dosage.’
    • ‘Another commonly abused amphetamine is methylamphetamine, also known as speed, ice, crank and crystal meth.’
    • ‘What if she was like most 17-year-olds and had experimented with marijuana or speed or ecstasy?’
    • ‘This person had a number of deals of amphetamine, known as speed.’
    • ‘The most common drug used was cannabis, followed by ecstasy, acid, magic mushrooms, speed and cocaine.’
    • ‘Information about cocaine, LSD, ecstasy and speed was handed out, as well as tips for keeping clubbers safe.’
    • ‘He was using cannabis, LSD, speed and magic mushrooms on a regular basis.’
    • ‘Whittaker and Morrison carried out the killings after stealing a small amount of amphetamine sulphate, also known as speed, from the house.’
    • ‘Let's move now to recreational drugs, party ones like ecstasy and speed.’
    • ‘The drugs involved included cannabis, ecstasy and speed.’
    • ‘In the house also were a number of hash pipes, as well as a quantity of speed and LSD.’
    • ‘They will be sent for forensic testing for ecstasy, speed and cannabis.’
  • 5archaic mass noun Success; prosperity.

    • ‘wish me good speed’

verbsped, speeded

  • 1no object, with adverbial of direction Move quickly.

    ‘I got into the car and home we sped’
    • ‘If our troops can speed quickly through Iraq and deal with this monster it stands to reason that his own people must applaud our efforts.’
    • ‘She screamed, throwing her groceries in the air, and the four of us burst into laughter as Adam quickly sped out of the parking lot.’
    • ‘Banking quickly, Jonathan sped away with Kyle in hot pursuit.’
    • ‘We quickly sped away from Fremont and into industrial no man's land.’
    • ‘The battle had been over so quickly because he had sped towards Arthur like an arrow from a bow, and it had been all she could do to keep up with him!’
    • ‘They then quickly sped off to the north to get out of the Ettin Hills.’
    • ‘They quickly sped ahead to the front of the group, going extremely fast and swerving near mailboxes and cars.’
    • ‘Taking no time to evaluate her own injuries, Zoe quickly sped down the road and took a wide turn down another street.’
    • ‘Darcy watched sadly as Jeremy backed out quickly and sped down the road.’
    • ‘The elevator quickly sped off towards the main cargo area of the starship.’
    • ‘He chuckled as he sped quickly away after yelling that he would meet her at the firearms shop in east LA.’
    • ‘I quickly pushed myself and sped to catch up to her, but there were too many people and I had to walk.’
    • ‘Nick quickly sped backwards, looking at the two shadows in front of him.’
    • ‘I rambled on to myself and quickly sped out of the living room that threatened to suffocate me.’
    • ‘Then it sped out and moved around the room, here and there, leaving a zigzag of smoke behind.’
    • ‘Then she quickly got dressed and sped out the door when she realized she was going to be late for her appointments.’
    • ‘The girl sped quickly away, obviously an old pro as a bike rider.’
    • ‘I stepped out of the truck and his tires screeched as he quickly sped off.’
    • ‘I glanced towards the car, trying to see who the driver was, but they sped off too quickly.’
    • ‘He sped home and quickly, hardly able to see the road in his fury.’
    hurry, race, run, sprint, dash, bolt, dart, rush, hasten, hurtle, career, streak, shoot, whizz, zoom, go like lightning, go hell for leather, spank along, bowl along, rattle along, whirl, whoosh, buzz, swoop, flash, blast, charge, stampede, gallop, sweep, hare, fly, wing, scurry, scud, scutter, scramble
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object (of a motorist) travel at a speed that is greater than the legal limit.
      ‘the car that crashed was speeding’
      • ‘humps are to be used to reduce speeding’
      • ‘She practically speeded to Crystal's house, she had to vent her anger through someone.’
      • ‘Gary jumped into the car and Louise threw herself in and they speeded across the town to the restaurant.’
      • ‘They speeded out of Jake's neighborhood and on to the road that went into town.’
      • ‘Once in the town she speeded through Stars Road, then through Main Street.’
      • ‘Robert speeded over to the hospital that Clara was just at and practically yelled at the nurses.’
      • ‘Her car, the emerald Audi compact, speeded down the street and disappeared.’
      • ‘As Chad speeded to his work on the opposite side of town, he went over the last few minutes again in his head.’
      • ‘He speeded to Winona's house and frantically knocked on the door and rang the bell.’
      • ‘Before Rebecca could say another word Cameron pulled her in and speeded down the road.’
      • ‘This includes drivers who have speeded more than once and received separate notifications.’
      • ‘Louis Aguiar gave evidence at his trial admitting to accelerating quickly and speeding between 55 and 60 kph.’
      • ‘I drove back to town quickly, but not speeding, and arrived at Hunter's family's new home, after he gave me directions.’
      drive too fast, exceed the speed limit, break the speed limit
      View synonyms
  • 2archaic with object Make prosperous or successful.

    ‘may God speed you’
    • ‘God speed you to your job in Brussels.’
  • 3informal no object Take or be under the influence of an amphetamine drug.

    • ‘more kids than ever are speeding, tripping, and getting stoned’

Phrases

    pick up speed
    • (of a vehicle) go faster; accelerate.

      ‘once out of the village, they picked up speed’
      • ‘the debate has picked up steam recently’
    up to speed
    • 1Operating at full speed.

      1. 1.1Performing at an anticipated or desired rate or level.
      2. 1.2(of a person) fully informed or up to date.
        • ‘that reminds me to bring you up to speed on the soap opera’
    at speed
    British
    • Quickly.

      ‘a car flashed past them at speed’
      • ‘The Shannon airport police van approaches at speed, emergency lights flashing.’
      • ‘However, when you have 14 or 15 stone moving around at speed and hitting you, it's going to take its toll.’
      • ‘The driver, who was also wearing a balaclava, drove away at speed.’
      • ‘A vehicle was heard leaving the lower village at speed, heading up towards the Church, out of Dunmore East.’
      • ‘Other eye-witnesses revealed the motorcyclist was driving at speed and overtaking other vehicles in drizzle.’
      • ‘Eyewitnesses said they drove off at speed in the direction of Newmarket.’
      • ‘And it was their ability to turn defence into attack at speed that was the real difference.’
      • ‘It is believed that the thieves took his keys in the struggle and then began driving around in circles at speed.’
      • ‘Teenagers use the parking area as a late night hang-out, driving around at speed and playing loud music.’
      • ‘He then snatched the keys from her hand and the two drove off at speed, leaving her frightened in the street.’

Phrasal Verbs

    speed up
    • 1Move or work more quickly.

      ‘you force yourself to speed up because you don't want to keep others waiting’
      • ‘Inching along head-lamp deep, the traffic moves again, speeding up when we reach the dry roads of the South Coast.’
      • ‘The heart rate speeds up in order to quickly provide the extra oxygen and nutrients your body will need.’
      • ‘I called quickly in return, speeding up to follow him.’
      • ‘I slowed the car down momentarily and sped up quickly after passing another light.’
      • ‘Her heart seemed to stop for a second, but it quickly sped up, its beat pounding away in her ears.’
      • ‘The tape cut off as the limo sped up and accelerated below a triple underpass.’
      • ‘He felt his stomach drop to his feet and his heart sped up, this could not be happening!’
      • ‘I sped up and rattled the door handle quickly up and down, cursing it for not opening for me.’
      • ‘Then they sped up and Darren was forced to walk faster until he was eventually jogging.’
      • ‘He's blurry through my tears, and then the train speeds up and takes him away.’
      1. 1.1speed someone or something up, speed up someone or somethingCause someone or something to move or happen more quickly.
        ‘they sought to speed up decision-making’
        • ‘Once again, sorry if I sped things up too quickly, but I can't change my desire to get this story finished.’
        • ‘It speeds things up for suspects, can eliminate them more quickly if they are innocent, and means witnesses are not in close proximity to the suspects as they can be under the old system.’
        • ‘For months, they have argued they wanted to speed it up, so this woman has this trial very quickly.’
        • ‘There have been calls from the opposition to bring in the army to speed things up and so on.’
        • ‘During World War II, considerable industrial production moved to the West Coast and after the war urbanization was sped up by housing subsidies and government investment in city infrastructure.’
        • ‘Technology speeds things up, but it's consistent with what corporations and governments have been doing.’
        • ‘Being already in the system speeds things up and simplifies the operation.’
        • ‘The technology is a key part of speeding things up.’
        • ‘It is not just about productivity, but predictability, speeding things up, making things flow smoothly.’
        • ‘We're most grateful for what has been done, but if there's any chance of speeding things up that would be great.’

Origin

Old English spēd (noun), spēdan (verb), from the Germanic base of Old English spōwan ‘prosper, succeed’, a sense reflected in early usage.