Meaning of QUICK in English

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

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