Meaning of FAST in English

I. fast 1 S2 W3 /fɑːst $ fæst/ BrE AmE adverb

1 . MOVING QUICKLY moving quickly:

Slow down – you’re driving too fast.

a fast-moving river

Johnny ran off as fast as his legs could carry him (=running as quickly as he could) .

2 . IN A SHORT TIME happening in a short time:

Kids grow up fast these days.

The survivors needed help fast.

How fast can you get the job done?

fast becoming/disappearing/approaching etc

Access to the Internet is fast becoming a necessity.

It all happened so fast I didn’t even notice I was bleeding.

3 . fast asleep sleeping very deeply:

Nick was lying on the sofa, fast asleep.

4 . be stuck/held fast to become or be firmly fixed and unable to move:

The boat was stuck fast in the mud.

She tried to pull her hand free, but it was held fast.

5 . be getting/be going nowhere fast informal to not succeed in making progress or achieving something:

I kept asking her the same question, but I was getting nowhere fast.

6 . not so fast spoken used to tell someone not to be too eager to do or believe something:

Not so fast. We’ve got to prove it first, haven’t we?

7 . make something fast to tie something such as a boat or tent firmly to something else

8 . fast by something literary very close to something:

fast by the river

⇨ play fast and loose with somebody at ↑ play 1 (30), ⇨ stand fast at ↑ stand 1 (25), ⇨ thick and fast at ↑ thick 2 (2)

• • •


▪ quickly at a high speed or without taking much time:

The stream was flowing quite quickly.


They quickly became friends.

▪ fast at a high speed – used especially when talking about how something moves:

You're driving too fast!


He ran home as fast as he could.

▪ quick spoken quickly – used in exclamations or in comparatives:

Quick! There’s a mouse!

▪ swiftly written quickly:

The government acted swiftly.


She was surprised that he agreed so swiftly.

▪ rapidly quickly – used especially about changes, increases, improvements etc:

The population is growing rapidly.


a rapidly changing world

▪ speedily quickly and therefore efficiently:

All problems were speedily dealt with.

▪ briskly quickly and energetically:

He walked briskly back along the path.

▪ at high/great speed at a very fast speed – used especially in technical descriptions:

The molecules are travelling at great speed.

▪ at a rapid rate especially written quickly – used about changes, increases, improvements etc:

Internet shopping is growing at a rapid rate.

▪ as quick as a flash/in a flash extremely quickly:

As quick as a flash, I was back in my bed and under the covers.

▪ like lightning moving extremely quickly:

Like lightning, the cat darted under the bushes.

▪ flat out especially British English at the fastest speed possible:

The car was going flat out.


He was running flat out.

II. fast 2 S2 W2 BrE AmE adjective

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: fæst 'firm' ]

1 . MOVING QUICKLY moving or able to move quickly:

a fast car

He’s one of the fastest runners in the world.

2 . IN A SHORT TIME doing something or happening in a short time:

The subway is the fastest way to get downtown.

The company must give a faster response to clients’ requests.

The rain forests are being chopped down at an alarmingly fast rate.

I’m a fast learner.

3 . CLOCK [not before noun] a clock that is fast shows a later time than the real time:

That can’t be the time – my watch must be fast.

five minutes/an hour etc fast

I always keep my watch 15 minutes fast.

4 . fast track a way of achieving something more quickly than is normally done

on the fast track

a young actress on the fast track to fame and success

5 . fast road a road on which vehicles can travel very quickly

6 . fast film/lens a film or ↑ lens (2) that can be used when there is little light, or when photographing something that is moving very quickly

7 . COLOUR a colour that is fast will not change when clothes are washed ⇨ ↑ colourfast

8 . SPORTS a fast surface is one on which a ball moves very quickly

9 . fast and furious done very quickly with a lot of effort and energy, or happening very quickly with a lot of sudden changes:

Arsenal’s opening attack was fast and furious.

10 . somebody is a fast worker informal used to say that someone can get what they want very quickly, especially in starting a sexual relationship with another person

11 . fast talker someone who talks quickly and easily but is often not honest or sincere

12 . WOMAN old-fashioned becoming involved quickly in sexual relationships with men:

fast cars and fast women

13 . fast friends literary two people who are very friendly for a long time

⇨ ↑ fast food , ↑ fast-forward , ↑ fast lane , ⇨ make a fast buck at ↑ buck 1 (1), ⇨ pull a fast one at ↑ pull 1 (10)

• • •


▪ fast moving or able to move quickly:

The cheetah is the fastest animal in the world.


a fast car

▪ quick moving fast or doing something in a short time:

He was much quicker than I was over the first 100 metres.


Do I have time for a quick shower?

▪ high-speed [only before noun] designed to travel or operate very quickly:

a high-speed train


high-speed Internet access

▪ rapid especially written happening in a short period of time – used about changes, increases, improvements etc:

a rapid increase in the population


the rapid expansion of the firm’s business in the Middle East


a rapid decline in profits

▪ swift written moving quickly or happening after only a short time:

The horses ran along the track at a swift trot.


He received a swift response to his letter.

▪ brisk quick and energetic:

a brisk walk in the countryside


His manner was very brisk.

▪ speedy [only before noun] happening after only a short time:

Everyone wishes you a speedy recovery.


a speedy resolution to the problem

▪ hurried done more quickly that usual, because you do not have much time:

She ate a hurried breakfast in the cafe before catching her train.


We made a hurried departure.

▪ hasty deciding or doing something very quickly, especially when this has bad results:

It was a hasty decision, which he later regretted.


Let’s not be too hasty.

III. fast 3 BrE AmE verb [intransitive]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: fæstan ]

to eat little or no food for a period of time, especially for religious reasons:

Muslims fast during Ramadan.

• • •


■ to eat less food or stop eating

▪ be on a diet to be eating less or different food than normal in order to become thinner:

No cake thanks – I’m on a diet.

▪ fast to not eat for a period of time, often for religious reasons:

Muslim people fast during the month of Ramadan.

IV. fast 4 BrE AmE noun [countable]

a period during which someone does not eat, especially for religious reasons:

Gandhi drank some orange juice to break (=end) his three-week fast.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.