Definition of quick in English:



  • 1Moving fast or doing something in a short time.

    ‘some children are particularly quick learners’
    ‘I was much quicker than he was and held him at bay for several laps’
    [with infinitive] ‘he was always quick to point out her faults’
    • ‘You take swift decisions and make quick changes when situations are tense and demanding.’
    • ‘Despite a two-and-a-half hour rain delay, Williams was quick off the blocks, racing to a 4-lead in the first set.’
    • ‘Other nations were quick to emulate Ecuador's experiment, but few have enjoyed the same success.’
    • ‘If you suffer from either type of sinusitis, our quick fixes offer fast relief.’
    • ‘Keep the defence tight, and when on offence, I want to see quick feet and fast passing.’
    • ‘They are a fine team with very fast and quick forwards and they are pressing for the top place in the group and if they beat us they will do that.’
    • ‘While being quick and fast, those involved in the relief and rescue work should maintain their temper, he noted.’
    • ‘With electric gates which can be operated from either end of the pit cows make a quick entry and a fast exit.’
    • ‘Mathias was a quick learner, in just a short time he could perform the kicks satisfactorily.’
    • ‘I am easily provoked, and rather vicious when my toe is stepped on, but I'm quick to cool down and fast to reasoning.’
    • ‘This is not to say that problems do not occur, though eBay is quick to state that any such happenings are few and far between.’
    • ‘Best wishes to Eilish Marren who sustained a broken ankle recently and we wish her a speedy recovery and a quick return to the playing field.’
    • ‘Another aspect of Swedish business success is that the country's firms are quick to recut their cloth to suit changing times.’
    • ‘The city was saddened by the news of Terry's closure and readers were quick to suggest alternative uses for the factory site.’
    • ‘Mrs Young said the secret of her success behind the bar was quick mental arithmetic which helped her to keep track of the orders without the help of a cash till.’
    • ‘They also need to be quick on their feet and incredibly alert and aware.’
    • ‘To both her credit and her detriment, Nora has learned to not be quick to judge people.’
    • ‘And they were also quick to slam high-spending pop stars and other celebrities who they said were a bad example to youngsters.’
    • ‘They can even catch a bird in free flight, so that's how quick they are.’
    • ‘We've got excellent linebackers because of the speed there, and we're fast and quick up front.’
    fast, swift, rapid, speedy, high-speed, expeditious
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    1. 1.1Lasting or taking a short time.
      ‘she took a quick look through the drawers’
      ‘we went to the pub for a quick drink’
      • ‘She had made just two quick trips home to Indianapolis during that time.’
      • ‘A quick test shows this happens with enough browsers to make it funny (I didn't find one that worked).’
      • ‘So we will take a quick look at Pi Fast, which, as the name suggests calculates Pi to as many digits as you want.’
      • ‘Bails was tired but met for a quick drink after work.’
      • ‘The set was two and a half hours of music with a twenty-minute interval for drinks and some quick reprogramming of the lights and video projectors.’
      • ‘As the room swirled and tumbled around him, Fleet caught only a few quick glimpses of what happened next.’
      • ‘These quick tender biscuits go with just about any prairie meal.’
      • ‘However, a succession of penalty corners from Aldridge resulted in two quick goals and suddenly the game was slipping away again.’
      • ‘Nosing into the wave, called purling, will usually result in your quick exit from the board.’
      • ‘But a quick word with the proprietor of the local service station reassured me otherwise.’
      • ‘The Orkney squad lost three quick tries at the start of the game, resulting in a half-time score of 22-5.’
      • ‘Before looking at the results, let's do a quick recap on what happens in the formation of an embryo.’
      • ‘Meticulous copy editing may be another impediment to the quick dissemination of results.’
      • ‘Finally, a quick look at what happened in Scotland in April.’
      • ‘After landing aboard the ship, we board a fast speed boat for the quick ride to the terminal.’
      • ‘There are no quick fixes for the grief and anguish after the death of a loved one.’
      • ‘They're relatively simple and quick quests that result in very little gain in terms of experience points.’
      • ‘We were supposed to be having ‘a quick drink’, but it ended up being dinner for about eight and the bar actually ran out of wine.’
      • ‘Rearranging the gallery is one way to stay busy, and one that can result in quick sales.’
      • ‘She headed for the cyber café to do a quick search and learn a thing or two.’
      hasty, hurried, cursory, perfunctory, superficial, desultory, incidental, summary, glancing
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    2. 1.2Happening with little or no delay: prompt.
      ‘children like to see quick results from their efforts’
      • ‘She instead gives the reader quick snapshots as fast as the events she describes.’
      • ‘I still think the basic motivation behind this is valid, but the result personally is a quick burnout.’
      • ‘A quick response by police resulted in the swift arrest of two youths.’
      • ‘When an accident happens a quick response may be necessary to keep an injury from becoming a fatality.’
      • ‘Low-intensity warfare of this kind does not bring quick results and much of the work is low-key, repetitive and painstaking.’
      • ‘Materials are sold off to earn a quick Kwacha and the result is people continue wallow in poverty.’
      • ‘Part of the myth is that it's easy, quick, fast money, but there are always strings attached.’
      • ‘It looks like the new fast track to quick money is being a test user.’
      • ‘Remember these fish are fast and spooky, you have to make quick accurate casts, often into a twenty knot wind.’
      • ‘It is seen as the least dangerous of the notorious cobra family but its bite can still cause rapid death without quick intervention.’
      • ‘However if we want a quick result on a short session they are ideal.’
      • ‘Four children, three boys and a girl, were born in fairly quick succession.’
      • ‘With its simple colour scheme and one page layout it is designed for fast downloading and quick access to new material.’
      • ‘The result is quick response both around town and on the open road, plus levels of fuel efficiency and economy that rate at the top of the class.’
      • ‘His military skills resulted in quick promotion in Carranza's constitutional army.’
      • ‘A skin test is usually done first because it is quick and straightforward.’
      • ‘They began to price land and they began to open up for investments and for trade, which led to quick results.’
      • ‘Women tend to want quick results if they're working alone, and they are more likely to give up in a few weeks if they don't see real progress.’
      • ‘Pests should be controlled with a quick shot to the head or fast acting poison.’
      • ‘My business would not offer a return for several years, whereas Bob was promising a relatively quick buck.’
      sudden, instantaneous, immediate, instant, abrupt, sharp, precipitate, breakneck, headlong
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  • 2(of a person) prompt to understand, think, or learn; intelligent.

    ‘it was quick of him to spot the mistake’
    • ‘Andy Reid is a marvellous player; skilful, intelligent, and quick in thought and action.’
    • ‘With its quick intelligence, it has no trouble learning its name and how to use a litter box.’
    • ‘Jo was clever, cunning, intelligent, very quick, and could see things which other people couldn't.’
    • ‘His brilliant blue eyes always twinkled brightly, he was smart and a quick thinker.’
    • ‘Endowed with a keen sense of perception, they also have quick minds.’
    • ‘He was quick to learn and was literate in both English and Irish and had a good understanding of the Brehan law.’
    • ‘You realise professional goals with intelligence, quick thinking and good management.’
    • ‘He is able to use his wit, he's able to use his quick thinking in very sharp and tactically, even brilliant, ways.’
    • ‘He was a terrific actor and he also had a very quick brain.’
    • ‘He is a pioneer with an astute intellect and has a quick wit.’
    • ‘But in private, it was clear that this guy was very smart, very quick to learn.’
    • ‘So, being quick and bright, she explains that she meant ‘hard-working people’.’
    • ‘Joseph early in life learned that quick wit would get him through.’
    • ‘A quick student, she memorised entire scripts and soon learned how to cry or laugh on command.’
    • ‘In college, my quick wit and intelligence made up for whatever I lacked in dedication.’
    • ‘I am quick to learn, and incredibly hard working, but I'm a bit of a loner and would need a competent team for support.’
    • ‘Even with her intelligent and quick mind, she could come up with no way of getting to her dagger.’
    • ‘However, their quick wits and intelligence often brings them through, and they may make a fortune from nothing.’
    • ‘‘He's pretty quick on the uptake,’ she replied.’
    • ‘‘Why?’ David asked, sounding a bit stupid, for his usually quick intellect was a bit slowed by the recent events.’
    intelligent, bright, clever, gifted, able, brilliant, astute, quick-witted, sharp-witted, ready, quick off the mark
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    1. 2.1(of a person's eye or ear) keenly perceptive; alert.
      • ‘She was about to say something but her quick eyes had caught the mass of women slowly stalking toward them.’
      • ‘Ivan Denisovich's quick eye allows him to cut in front of another prisoner for a serving tray.’
      • ‘Her bearing has turned to reserve, her normally quick eyes dull and watery.’
      • ‘Other worthies pilloried him for his strokeplay, dismissing the values of strength and quick eye in favour of grace and beauty.’
      • ‘Possessing a quick eye, and sly about it, they never let slip an opportunity or an advantage when it comes their way.’
      • ‘He signaled secretly to his gang, but the cold man's quick eye caught everything.’
      • ‘Making money in this segment will require careful management and a quick eye on micro-trends.’
      • ‘Blaze sat looking out the window for some time, her quick eyes darting along the part of the street she could see from the window.’
      • ‘The bounce was even and true, and Agarkar, with his quick eye, could do no wrong under such circumstances.’
      • ‘Sherlock Holmes's quick eye took in my occupation, and he shook his head with a smile as he noticed my questioning glances.’
    2. 2.2(of a person's temper) easily roused.
      • ‘They know her and her flaws - a quick temper, a dicey sexual past - too well for that.’
      • ‘To her finer qualities must be added a quick temper and considerable hauteur, more readily apparent to the Chinese than to most foreigners.’
      • ‘Some of his prickliness was an expression of offended authority, but much of it also had to do with his own quick temper.’
      • ‘Denise has little concept of humility, and allows her quick temper to interfere with her common sense.’
      • ‘He was replaced by Frank Joklik, a former mine boss with a quick temper.’
      • ‘Her mother, for instance, with her high blood pressure, her quick temper, is obviously choleric.’
      • ‘Age and size are a bad mix, and Brown has a quick temper and slow feet to boot.’
      • ‘Helena had a quick temper but rarely flew into a true rage.’
      • ‘Mary, who never received any domestic training from her mother at home, marries Jack, a business executive with a quick temper.’
      • ‘He was in trouble for vandalism and had a notoriously quick temper.’
      • ‘I had a quick temper, and my way of controlling it was to avoid responding or talking to people.’
      • ‘Now I realized that it was his cold anger that I feared, and not his quick temper.’
      • ‘Normally, he was quite calm and quiet, but he had a quick temper that subsided as easily as it came.’
      • ‘Troy Stevenson, a murderer, was formerly a big man in the drug business with a quick temper and a bigger attitude.’
      • ‘You can be rather selfish, though, and a partner needs to be able to deal with your quick temper and impulsive tantrums.’
      • ‘In this novel, Beverly Lamark is a successful mystery writer with a quick temper and acerbic wit.’
      • ‘I have a quick temper which can flare up and be over in seconds, which makes me rueful, but at least provides bystanders with entertainment.’
      • ‘Contrary to popular belief, Marla did not have a quick temper, she was simply angry all the time.’
      • ‘If one trusts the cuttings - there are tales of files being thrown at unfortunate juniors - Stevens has a quick temper.’
      • ‘The defence say that the defendant is a peaceable, non-violent man, who did not have a quick temper.’


  • At a fast rate; quickly.

    ‘he'll find some place where he can make money quicker’
    [as exclamation] ‘Get out, quick!’
    • ‘Watching my mum being a single parent made me grow up quick and taught me to not rush things in life.’
    • ‘This promises to be an uplifting and exciting concert, but tickets will sell fast so get in quick.’
    • ‘I adapted pretty quick to it so it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.’
    • ‘"I thought to myself I could have held a little more depth and got there a bit quicker.’
    • ‘How quick we have forgotten the sacrifice demanded of those whose homes and communities that stood in the way of the inner relief folly.’
    • ‘I'd like to point out - most people are talking about how quick you need to do this.’
    • ‘I have to admit that I don't learn new things as quick as I do 10 years ago.’
    • ‘The world was a blur around us and if I tried to focus outside the circle of movement, I got a headache pretty quick.’
    • ‘I got away quick, which was down to the nerves, the aggression, the excitement and the adrenalin.’
    • ‘Her heart beat quick as she ran into the office and lifted the shade to witness the flood.’
    • ‘' Since then I've started swinging the ball away and got a bit quicker as well.’
    • ‘The smart lines drop in fast and quick, with some great gags that click two seconds after you think they should.’
    • ‘Exxon and Shell say if we don't do something quick the 2004 convention sponsorship deal is off.’
    • ‘But trading standards staff are warning that there is no guarantee of getting rich quick or even getting your original stake back.’
    • ‘When he drew it back real quick he stabbed himself in the neck with it.’
    • ‘And it is that a company can play quick and fast with procedural rules, and escape action.’
    • ‘One word: grow up quick or seek therapy as soon as possible.’
    • ‘People don't realise how critical that is because if you come in and something's not quite right you get exposed real quick, as you can see with the newer guys.’
    • ‘So get your ducks quick as they are flying out of the place.’
    • ‘It would take off real quick in a straight line, then seem to turn 90 degrees, then up and down and left and right.’


  • 1The soft, tender flesh below the growing part of a fingernail or toenail.

    • ‘I am at this moment being vetted for my suitability as interviewer and my nails are bitten to the quick.’
    • ‘You'll enjoy the movie if your idea of a good time is sitting glued to the edge of your seat chewing your fingernails down to the quick.’
    • ‘I removed my hand from my mouth when I realized I had chewed my fingernail down to the bleeding quick.’
    • ‘All over Britain, parental nails are being chewed down to the quick.’
    • ‘This will prevent the quick from growing too long and prevent the nail from bleeding.’
    • ‘If you cut into the quick, the claw will bleed and the cat will experience pain.’
    • ‘And all from a little British film, with a tiny £2 million budget which was cut to the quick.’
    • ‘It doesn't exactly hurt when they dig but it is uncomfortable like when you chew a nail down to the quick.’
    • ‘The water will help soften the baby's toenails so they trim easily and without snapping off at the quick.’
    • ‘As she packed, I saw her hands and her once beautiful nails were bitten to the quick.’
    • ‘Their hands were inspected, nails cut to the quick if polish was found.’
    1. 1.1The central or most sensitive part of someone or something.
      • ‘The PRSI changes cut to the quick of a constituency that she and her party hold dear.’
      • ‘Its implications cut to the quick of the British constitution.’
      • ‘Finally someone's cutting right to the quick of a very important subject that's all too often ignored.’
      • ‘Stoll is a clean, clear writer, and his short dispatches cut to the quick.’
      • ‘Stung to the quick by allegations our banner graphic looked very 1994, we've done a bit of a redesign here.’
      • ‘It cuts to straight to the quick of this most sinister tale, using just two actors on a bare stage to tell of a man divided and torn between his good and evil nature.’
      • ‘It neutralises the whining about failing to address the issue because it cuts to the quick.’
      • ‘The vote or die campaign that was launched by young Afro and white Americans stung the heartland of America to the quick.’
      • ‘This seemingly ‘technical’ issue in many ways cuts to the quick of electronic nonlinearity.’
      • ‘I didn't agree with the statement, but I did think it clever and amusing, cutting to the quick of what a particular type of web usage is all about.’
  • 2archaic Those who are living.

    ‘the quick and the dead’
    • ‘This law renders willful killing of an unborn ‘quick’ child by any injury to the mother of the child to be manslaughter.’
    • ‘From the salvation of the dead we move to the healing of the quick.’
    • ‘They will die as you died, in the footsteps of the dead that were quick.’


  • cut someone to the quick

    • Cause someone deep distress by a hurtful remark or action.

      • ‘Hearing the answer either way would likely cut him to the quick.’
      • ‘I was about to open my mouth to say something but he cut me to the quick.’
      • ‘Gleason's flamboyancy would have cut Buk to the quick.’
      • ‘The mocking tone was slight, but it cut Maple to the quick.’
      • ‘‘I understand,’ Jack tried, but this girl cut him to the quick.’
      • ‘Many of Billington's criticisms have clearly cut Nunn to the quick.’
      • ‘If there was one thing Joe Cartwright couldn't take it was being ignored, and if the townspeople had set out to cut him to the quick then they had certainly done a good job of it.’
      • ‘But when she opened The Independent the other day, she was cut to the quick.’
      • ‘His words cut her to the quick, but this time she knew exactly why.’
      • ‘She brushes past him, her heart pounding with the effort it took to keep from blurting out something about Daphne that would really cut him to the quick.’
  • (as) quick as a flash

    • (especially of a person's response or reaction) very quickly.

      ‘quick as a flash, he was at her side’
      • ‘But as the ball bounced up the youngster, as quick as a flash, hooked it over his shoulder.’
      • ‘As quick as a flash, his eyes darted to Stevie, and he said: ‘Does that mean we have to call you Gerry now?’’
      • ‘The lights were bright, the chorus and orchestra deafening, the adrenaline pumping, the action frantic and then, as quick as a flash, it was all over.’
      • ‘She reveals she buys all her own clothes for work, ‘although I never pay full price,’ she adds, quick as a flash.’
      • ‘As quick as a flash, he pulled a gun from his backpack.’
      • ‘If they'd have let her come with us, she'd have been on that boat as quick as a flash.’
      • ‘The gray cat jumped a few good inches off the ground in surprise and ran quick as a flash into the adjoining bathroom, skidding slightly on the tiles.’
      • ‘‘You saved the best till last,’ replies the candidate, quick as a flash.’
      • ‘As quick as a flash, Arthur jumped on one of the bikes and turned the ignition key.’
      • ‘Then, quick as a flash, something smashed the window and flew across the room, making her jump involuntarily.’
  • quick on the draw

    • 1Very fast in taking one's gun from its holster.

      • ‘The worst corporate bandits are still likely to face a sheriff who's quick on the draw.’
      • ‘Trench, ever quick on the draw, drew a shotgun out of his trench-coat and quickly pointed it at the abomination in their midst.’
      • ‘The tourists who lost their lives were just two in thousands; the policeman, a bit quick on the draw, no doubt and on the trigger too, was acting in defense of his own daughter and over-reacted, but can he really be blamed?’
      1. 1.1Very fast in acting or reacting.
        • ‘He is friendly, enthusiastic and extremely quick on the draw, with a deep, booming voice.’
        • ‘Eddie's hip, raw, and quick on the draw in his routine, meshing together the best of real life and news into a topical and funny performance.’
        • ‘Whether a suitable retort from a Scottish nationalist would be the nodding of his head, or whether he would be quicker on the draw with two fingers might be a moot point.’
        • ‘If that is so, let's hope that the Western world is quicker on the draw than North Korea or Iran.’
        • ‘The local sheriff's office was not exactly quick on the draw and so nothing was done.’
        • ‘Many denunciations were defensive; there was a feeling that one had to be quick on the draw to survive.’
        • ‘I'm surprised the conclusion was not that docs should be quicker on the draw so there would be no time for second thoughts.’
        • ‘Experience and necessity - so many books, so little time - have made Ms. Hensley quick on the draw.’
        • ‘He obviously learned from past mistakes when he was too quick on the draw in dismissing three former senators.’
        • ‘You've got to be very quick on the draw, because a horse can stumble leaving the gate, and you got plan A. All of a sudden, because of the break or the bad break, you have to go to plan B, and you've got to be able to adjust very quickly.’
  • quick with child

    • archaic At a stage of pregnancy when movements of the fetus have been felt.

      • ‘In the criminal context, women convicted of capital crimes were permitted to plead that they were quick with child, and to have this claim tested by a group of six women.’
      • ‘A woman is usually considered to be ‘quick‘with child around the fourth month of pregnancy.’
      • ‘By the present Law, this offence is divided into two classes: the capital offence being where the woman shall be quick with child.’


Old English cwic, cwicu alive, animated, alert of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kwiek sprightly and German keck saucy from an Indo-European root shared by Latin vivus alive and Greek bios, zōē life.