I. quick 1 S1 W2 /kwɪk/ BrE AmE adjective ( comparative quicker , superlative quickest )
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: cwic 'alive' ]
1 . SHORT TIME lasting for or taking only a short time:
That was quick! I thought you’d be another hour.
It’s probably quicker by train.
Have we got time for a quick drink?
What’s the quickest way to the station?
We stopped to have a quick look at the church.
Three bombs went off in quick succession (=quickly, one after the other) .
2 . FAST moving or doing something fast:
She walked with short, quick steps.
They were great people to work with – very quick, very efficient.
Boxers have to be quick on their feet (=able to move about quickly) .
3 . NO DELAY happening very soon, without any delay SYN speedy :
I had to make a quick decision.
We’ve put the house on the market and we’re hoping for a quick sale.
We need a quick response from the government.
Robertson’s quick thinking had saved the little girl’s life.
4 . CLEVER able to learn and understand things fast:
Jane’s very witty and very quick.
She’s a quick learner.
He’s a good interviewer, tough and quick on the uptake (=able to understand quickly what someone is saying) .
5 . be quick used to tell someone to hurry:
If you want to come with me you’ll have to be quick – I’m leaving in ten minutes.
‘Can I just finish this first?’ ‘OK, but be quick about it.’
6 . be quick to do something to react quickly to what someone says or does:
The government was quick to deny any involvement in the attacks.
7 . quick fix informal a solution to a problem that can be done quickly, but is not a good or permanent solution:
There’s no quick fix for stopping pollution.
Congress is trying to avoid quick-fix solutions.
8 . have a quick temper to get angry very easily
9 . be quick on the draw
a) to be able to pull a gun out quickly in order to shoot
b) American English informal to be good at reacting quickly and intelligently to difficult questions or in difficult situations
—quickness noun [uncountable]
⇨ ↑ quickly
• • •
▪ quick taking only a short time to do something:
I took a quick look at the map.
Do I have time for a quick shower before we go out?
▪ short lasting only a short time:
You can do a short course in diving.
The meeting was shorter than I’d expected.
▪ brief especially written lasting only a short time. Brief is more formal than short , and is used especially in written English:
The President made a brief visit to Buenos Aires.
a brief introduction to Piaget’s ideas
a brief pause in the rain
▪ rapid especially written happening in a short period of time – used about changes, increases, improvements etc:
a rapid increase in crime
the rapid rate of industrial development
▪ speedy happening or done as quickly as possible, especially so that you get the result that you want:
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
The restoration work has been making speedy progress.
▪ prompt done very soon after something else:
Thank you for your prompt reply.
the prompt action of the firefighters
Discounts will be offered for prompt payment.
▪ hasty deciding or doing something very quickly, especially when this has bad results:
It was a hasty decision, which he later regretted.
They had to make a hasty departure.
▪ cursory formal looking at something very quickly without much attention to detail:
Even a cursory glance at these figures shows that there is a problem.
The police conducted a cursory search of the property.
II. quick 2 BrE AmE interjection
used to tell someone to hurry or come quickly:
Quick! We’ll miss the bus!
III. quick 3 S3 BrE AmE adverb
quickly – many teachers think this is not correct English SYN fast :
Come quick! Larry’s on TV!
It all happened pretty quick.
Quick as a flash (=very quickly) she replied, ‘That’s not what I’ve heard!’
• • •
▪ 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.
IV. quick 4 BrE AmE noun
[ Sense 1-2: Date: 1500-1600 ; Origin: Probably from a Scandinavian language. ]
[ Sense 3: Language: Old English ; Origin: ⇨ ↑ quick 1 ]
1 . the quick the sensitive flesh under your fingernails and toenails:
Her nails were bitten to the quick.
2 . cut/sting/pierce somebody to the quick if a remark or criticism cuts you to the quick, it makes you feel extremely upset:
She was cut to the quick by the accusation.
3 . the quick and the dead biblical all people, including those who are alive and those who are dead