Definition of lickety-split in US English:



North American
  • As quickly as possible; immediately.

    ‘I took off lickety-split across the lawn’
    • ‘The high-pressure water stream can eat a hole in your fence or make kindling out of your lattice lickety-split.’
    • ‘Sure enough, the paint rubs off, lickety-split.’
    • ‘However, I can now turn over my OR and do my machine check or jam a needle into your spine lickety-split.’
    • ‘While leaving day-to-day operations to company veterans - unlike most other turnaround artists, he doesn't bring in his own managers - he assembles a restructuring plan lickety-split.’
    • ‘If the human rights committee of the United Nations makes recommendations, there are members in this House who would have those implemented in New Zealand lickety-split.’
    • ‘There's only one man for the job - and I know he'll have you out of here lickety-split.’
    • ‘The first movement, a lickety-split toccata, exploits what Lees calls a ‘trill’ idea and what I think of as more of a skip.’
    • ‘Whipping out lickety-split footwork and curiously fey gestures in improbable succession, his character seemed controlled by external forces.’
    • ‘The first theme, a lickety-split series of parallel chords hopping up the keyboard, sounds like the giddy mockery of an older person's pomposity.’
    • ‘Despite stock market woes, people are still buying housing lickety-split, fueled by piles of equity in their current properties and rock-bottom mortgage interest rates.’
    • ‘And yet he's had a very sunny disposition, telling great stories about how everybody is moving through lickety-split.’
    • ‘These include a lickety-split Don Giovanni (live from Aix), a disc of Beethoven overtures, and Brahms's Third and Fourth Symphonies.’
    • ‘The man should be lauded for wanting to get places lickety-split.’
    • ‘Before you go from 5K runner to marathoner lickety-split, you'll have to address the second tenet of neuromuscular training: teaching your mind to push through pain, because - we won't lie to you - there's a lot of it.’
    • ‘After all, they already assemble and disassemble floors lickety-split on top of hockey rinks.’
    • ‘You would think that he would tell him to rattle the cage of the Auditor General, and get a report in lickety-split so that they could make an intelligent assessment.’
    • ‘If he really was a stalker, he'd find it lickety-split.’
    • ‘We also ordered a bottle of sake, which arrived lickety-split.’
    • ‘Once mealtime is over, cleanup is lickety-split too.’
    • ‘Hmm… I don't think Nathaniel is gone for good just yet, although he is not in this chapter… besides, what fun would it be if Thomas and Kate just got together lickety-split?’
    quickly, fast, swiftly, speedily, at speed, at full speed, at the speed of light, post-haste, hotfoot, at full tilt, as fast as one's legs can carry one, at a gallop, expeditiously, briskly, promptly
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Early 19th century (in the phrase as fast as lickety ‘at full speed’): from a fanciful extension of lick + split (verb).