Definition of rapid in English:



  • 1Happening in a short time or at a fast pace.

    ‘the country's rapid economic decline’
    ‘he was disposing of wives in rapid succession’
    • ‘In rapid succession he won Auldearn, Alford, and Kilsyth, and occupied Edinburgh.’
    • ‘On both sides of the Atlantic each culture is in rapid decline and his first priority was to ensure he had recordings of each form of worship.’
    • ‘In rapid succession, there were four constitutional amendments to try to plug these holes.’
    • ‘On the other hand, we only had four or five years of really rapid economic growth.’
    • ‘The French death rate was falling, but so too was its birth rate, at an unusually rapid rate.’
    • ‘The economic story of the year has been the rapid and alarming decline of the global economy.’
    • ‘And as the price climbed, it has had two key effects, not dissimilar to a rapid rise in interest rates.’
    • ‘The rate of industrial growth was very rapid, and the rate of growth of heavy industry remarkable.’
    • ‘The company had an excellent staff retention rate, but rapid expansion came at a price.’
    • ‘In 406 the army in Britain elevated the first in a rapid succession of three emperors.’
    • ‘At the same time, the net worth of the wealthiest families has grown at a rapid rate.’
    • ‘Gun collecting has really taken off in the last few years and prices are moving up at a rapid rate.’
    • ‘What the billions of people who live in the world's poorer countries need is rapid economic growth.’
    • ‘Therefore, even with low interest rates, a rapid recovery is hard to imagine.’
    • ‘The combination of a steep drop in interest rates and the rapid rise in household debt has fuelled a surge in lending.’
    • ‘We can no longer use the past to try and predict the future because change occurs at such a rapid rate.’
    • ‘The surprisingly rapid economic slowdown undermined the performance of companies across all sectors.’
    • ‘Within ten years the economy was booming and it entered the age of very rapid economic growth.’
    • ‘With the rapid fall in interest rates the desire to purchase an annuity diminished.’
    • ‘My forecast is for that number to continue to grow to at a rapid rate across the coming years.’
    quick, fast, swift, speedy, high-speed, expeditious, express, brisk, lively, prompt, flying, fleeting, lightning, meteoric, overnight, whirlwind, fast-track, whistle-stop
    sudden, instantaneous, immediate, instant, hurried, hasty, abrupt, sharp, precipitate, breakneck, headlong
    alacritous, volant
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    1. 1.1(of movement or activity) characterized by great speed.
      ‘his breathing was rapid and jerky’
      • ‘Her staff began to spin at such a rapid pace that it began to light up with blue fire.’
      • ‘As the name indicates, the eyes of the sleeper move back and forth at rapid speed during their sleep.’
      • ‘The coffin was borne in by pall-bearers, marching to a rapid, but light step.’
      • ‘Billy Whizz, named for the rapid speed at which he could move, escaped on July 16 last year.’
      • ‘Unencumbered we could make a rapid exit to our wonderful little world of sun and cheap wine.’
      • ‘Jackson shouted to photographers before making a rapid exit with the children and a woman via the back door of the mall.’
      • ‘His ugly face split into a malicious grin and he bore down upon her with rapid speed.’
      • ‘She looked up at the horizon and frowned when she saw a dark cloud heading their way at rapid speed.’


  • A fast-flowing and turbulent part of the course of a river.

    • ‘There was a large river with rapids in front where you could see women doing their washing along the river.’
    • ‘There were places where the seawater actually boiled, like river rapids.’
    • ‘Gill nets are not only stretched across the river but are also between rocky out crops where rapids exist in the river.’
    • ‘We could not see the other side and we had no boats that could brave the river rapids.’
    • ‘Their hopes were soon dashed by the many waterfalls and rapids encountered on their journey upstream from Saigon.’
    • ‘Dealing with white water rapids is another matter altogether and something best left to the experts.’
    • ‘It is called the Fall Line because as streams flow across it they sometimes form waterfalls or rapids.’
    • ‘Guides lead the party down river to negotiate the rapids and climb the rocks that block the way.’
    • ‘These predators are excluded from upstream tributaries by rapids and barrier waterfalls.’
    • ‘They got out, scrambled up the ridge for a better look, and saw rapids but no falls that looked too large to navigate.’
    • ‘It was mostly a flatwater river, she reported, with the rapids concentrated in the first few days.’
    • ‘The Lao-Nong River has some challenging rapids that will put Ironman contestants to the test next week.’
    • ‘But for a decade now his work has explored bodies of water: swelling seas, river rapids and estuaries.’
    • ‘Mountain enthusiasts can choose to feel the chill of high-altitude lakes or brave the rapids of the unspoilt river.’
    • ‘Water splashed into my mouth as the wild river rapids threw me this way and that.’
    • ‘As the river turned into rapids, the princess grabbed her companion and hauled her back on board.’
    • ‘Then we saw iron rings in the rock, through which river steamer crews ran ropes to help them across the rapids.’
    • ‘The captain turned the ship to the starboard side, bracing the crew for the rapids and falls ahead.’
    • ‘There are river rapids along this trail with jumping fish and diving otters.’
    • ‘Of course, few things beat the thrill of taking a craft out on the white water and shooting the rapids.’
    waterfall, falls, water chute, cataract, rapids, torrent, flood, deluge, outpouring, white water, fountain, shower, avalanche
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Mid 17th century: from Latin rapidus, from rapere take by force.