Definition of acceleration in English:



  • 1A vehicle's capacity to gain speed within a short time.

    ‘a Formula One car is superior to an Indy car in its acceleration’
    • ‘We've learnt at The Sunday Times never to take manufacturers' claims for top speed and acceleration at face value.’
    • ‘We spent some time testing out the motor, checking idle speed, acceleration, different speeds and trim and then stopped for lunch.’
    • ‘In older powerful cars the job of achieving maximum acceleration without losing traction was down to the driver, but today it is managed by the traction control system.’
    • ‘In the rarefied world of supercars the only way to go is up: more power, quicker acceleration, higher top speed.’
    • ‘But after just a minute of acceleration, it would be able to top out any vehicle ever built.’
    • ‘The difference in acceleration and top speeds make it like comparing Del boy's Reliant van with a Ferrari.’
    • ‘Mr. Lalan says that sudden stoppage of the vehicle and sudden acceleration are not advisable.’
    • ‘There was just more power, more acceleration, more speed and more of that amazing noise.’
    • ‘The Ford exhaust system will improve your vehicle's acceleration and passing power, and at the same, help improve its fuel mileage.’
    • ‘I looked expectantly at the speedo, thinking the sheer luxury of the vehicle was masking the sensation of speed and acceleration that must surely be happening all around it.’
    • ‘And yet the Charade's plucky 1.0 litre engine will deliver you the fastest acceleration and the best maximum speed available in this class of car.’
    • ‘When batteries become significantly low, the unit limits top speed and acceleration to alert the operator to drive the vehicle to a charging location.’
    • ‘They have pace, speed, acceleration, penetration, and that priceless asset, mobility.’
    • ‘We run very closely-spaced gear ratios to maximise the car's acceleration, and this means the ratio between engine speed and car speed is higher than at a more normal circuit.’
    • ‘This £50,440 model has amazing acceleration for a car of its size and engine type, as well as an impressive ride quality and surprisingly nimble handling.’
    • ‘One of the terms used in estimating the clearance time of the heavy vehicle is its average acceleration in starting gear.’
    • ‘To this day, the combination of acceleration, dynamic performance and braking power offered by the current 911 Turbo continues to set the model apart from its peers.’
    • ‘A spokesman for Shell said tests on 37 cars on the British market found most showed benefits in acceleration and power, and one in eight customers was now buying Optimax.’
    • ‘In city driving, nearly 50 percent of the energy needed to power your car goes to acceleration.’
    • ‘No compromises on acceleration, towing capacity, cargo space, fuel economy, or emissions.’
    speeding up, increasing speed, increase in speed, gain in momentum, gathering speed, opening up
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    1. 1.1 Increase in the rate or speed of something.
      ‘the acceleration of the industrialization process’
      ‘an acceleration in the divorce rate’
      • ‘I hope it will be the vehicle for acceleration in improvements in the railway system.’
      • ‘Also at around this time there was a curious amalgam of serious and exploitation films concerned with atomic war and the acceleration of nuclear experiments.’
      • ‘The phenomenon flies in the face of a national trend that has seen a general slowdown in residential property price acceleration after years of spectacular growth.’
      • ‘The revenue acceleration that powered profit gains was widespread.’
      hastening, speeding up, quickening, stepping up, advancement, furthering, furtherance, forwarding, promotion, boosting, boost, stimulation, spur, aid, assistance, facilitation, easing, simplification, expedition, precipitation
      increase, rise, advance, leap, surge, escalation, spiralling, worsening
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Physics The rate of change of velocity per unit of time.
      • ‘Aristotle had no mathematical machinery for dealing with the concept of acceleration, so he analysed only states of uniform velocity.’
      • ‘But if that object (which has not had the force on it doubled) were to have double the force applied to it, it would double its acceleration.’
      • ‘Newton's second law says the amount of force needed to accelerate the tableware is directly related to the rate of acceleration.’
      • ‘This equation of acceleration also applies to the motion of the satellite as it moves around the planet.’
      • ‘The first thing he recognized was that the forces we feel upon acceleration and the forces we feel when under the control of gravity are one and the same.’
      • ‘Einstein warmed to the idea that the gravitational field of the rest of the Universe might explain centrifugal and other inertial forces resulting from acceleration.’
      • ‘The supernova observations call out for some gravitationally repulsive substance to drive the cosmic acceleration.’
      • ‘This will necessarily require a change in velocity - hence an acceleration.’
      • ‘What we call gravity, Newton showed was nothing more than a special type of acceleration.’
      • ‘An object in equilibrium will not experience acceleration, and will either remain at rest, or continue moving at a constant velocity.’
      • ‘They needed to imagine a special motionless container in order to understand such physical concepts as velocity and acceleration.’
      • ‘The Lorentz invariant applies to the four vectors: distance, velocity, acceleration and momentum.’
      • ‘The Joint Dark Energy Mission is designed to study the details of the universe's acceleration.’
      • ‘For that to be possible, gravity and acceleration must be exactly equivalent to one another.’
      • ‘If that only applies to accelerating bodies then surely time dilation is dependent on acceleration and not velocity.’
      • ‘The acceleration of the Universe can be seen in the redshifts of distant supernovae.’
      • ‘During acceleration the seat was pressing against your back because there was a net forward force.’
      • ‘Mass, instantaneous velocity, acceleration, magnetic forces, and energy puzzled them much more.’
      • ‘The centripetal acceleration of this system rapidly became very high.’
      • ‘The physicist uses the strobe effect to measure the speed or acceleration of objects, or to take pictures of very fast moving objects.’


Late 15th century: from Latin acceleratio(n-), from accelerare ‘hasten’ (see accelerate).