Meaning of FAST in English

I. ˈfast, -aa(ə)-, -ai-, -ȧ- adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English fæst; akin to Old High German festi firm, Old Norse fastr, Armenian hast firm, Sanskrit pastyā homestead


a. : firmly fixed : immovable or moved only with the greatest difficulty

the roots of the tree were so fast in the ground we left them there

a flagpole set fast in its concrete socket

a gun fast in its carriage

a fast and impassable barrier between them

b. : tightly shut : unable to be opened or very difficult to open

after the damp weather all the drawers became fast

the trunk lid was fast so that even after the key was turned it would not budge

: fastened , locked

the windows and doors were all fast so that thieves could not enter

c. : unable to be separated after being fastened together

the boards were fast a few hours after being glued together

made the ropes fast with a solid square knot

d. : not easily extricated or freed : stuck

when his foot went through the rotten floor it became fast between two of the floor timbers

a shell fast in the chamber of a gun

e. : not able to leave something — usually used in combination

bed fast

f. : busy , engaged

g. : somewhat permanently settled : stable

h. : unchangeable

hard and fast rules

2. obsolete

a. of a fortification : unyielding , impregnable

b. of a place : secure against attack

3. : turned from one's purpose only with great difficulty: as

a. : firmly loyal : staunch , steadfast — used in the phrase fast friend

b. archaic : unremitting — used in the phrase fast foe


a. obsolete : compact , dense , solid

b. archaic : frozen over solid


a. : characterized by quick motion:

(1) : moving or able to move rapidly : fleet , swift

a fast car

a fast horse

(2) of a baseball : thrown at the pitcher's highest speed

threw more fast balls than curves

(3) : moving ahead swiftly

a society that was fast as far as improvement is concerned

(4) : taking a comparatively short time

a fast race

(5) : following in rapid succession

took two fast shots

(6) : imparting quickness of motion

a fast bowler

a fast mechanism on the gun trigger

(7) : accomplished or capable of being accomplished quickly

fast work

(8) : marked by abrupt decision or action especially as impelled by a quick temper or irascible nature

a bit too fast with his fists in an argument

(9) of a dramatic or literary work : holding the interest by reason of the sustained conflict, vivid writing, or the rapid advancement of a story

a taut and fast play

a fast rollicking tale

(10) : agile of mind

an excellent witness — eloquent, confident, fast beyond belief — Michael Straight

(11) : having a rapid effect

the medicine was a fast one

the acid was chosen because it was fast

b. : having qualities which are conducive to rapidity of play or action

a fast track

a fast tennis court

a fast gun holster

the roads were fast between the towns


(1) of a wicket : in such condition as to cause a bowled cricket ball to leave the ground swiftly after landing — contrasted with slow ; compare fiery

(2) : allowing the rapid passage of a gas or fluid

a fast nipple on the baby bottle


(1) of timepieces or time reports : indicating time in advance of what is correct

(2) of weighing instruments : registering more than the correct weight of the thing weighed

(3) : according to daylight saving time

d. : contributing to a shortening of exposure time — used of a photographic lens or photographic emulsion

e. slang

(1) of money or profits : acquired with unusually little effort and usually in a rapid transaction

made a fast fortune in real estate

made some fast money on horseracing

and often by shady or dishonest methods

made a fast dollar in a con scheme

(2) : involving unusually little effort in proportion to the money gained thereby

tried to think of a show he could do for a fast thirteen weeks that would pay for the baby — Pete Martin

(3) : unusually quick and ingenious or cunning in finding or recognizing and profiting by easy and often shady ways of making or acquiring money

a particularly fast man with a buck — Time

(4) : marked by trickery and unfairness

worked a fast deal on a friend


a. : securely attached or fixed to someone or something

a rope fast to the wharf

when the handcuffs were snapped on, the culprit was fast to the police officer

b. : tenacious

a fast hold on the purse


(1) of a knot : firmly tied

(2) of an alliance or agreement : not easily broken or betrayed : certain , secure


(1) of a harpoon : stuck securely in a whale

(2) of a whale : secured by a harpoon ; especially : harpooned securely by a certain crew and consequently the rightful possession of that crew regardless of subsequent claims

(3) of a whaleboat : secured to a whale by harpoon


a. archaic : sound asleep

b. of sleep : not easily disturbed : sound

fell into a fast sleep


a. : not fading or changing color readily : permanently dyed : colorfast

fast colors

fast dyeings

b. : yielding colors of this kind — used especially of the diazo components of azoic dyes

fast color bases

— see dye table I (under Acid, Azoic, Diazo, Disperse, Mordant )

c. : proof against fading under exposure to a particular agency or action

the dye is made fast to perspiration — Know Your Merchandise

a color that is fast to sunlight

— often used in combinations

sun fast

boil fast

wash fast


a. : marked by or given to living that is unusually active

his health would not allow so fast a life and he was forced to slow down

especially in pursuit of excitement or pleasure

fast living


(1) : dissipated , wild

associating with a pretty fast bunch

(2) : markedly or promiscuously given to a flouting of the proprieties in the matter of personal behavior especially in sexual relations — usually used of a woman

he thought how in 1910 a painted woman was said to be fast — T.H.Raddall

(3) : of or characteristic of a person of this kind

a lot of fast talk and promiscuous behavior

10. : resistant to change, especially to destructive action — used chiefly of organisms and in combination with the name of the agent resisted

acid- fast bacteria

arsenic- fast insects

a streptomycin- fast patient


rapid , swift , fleet , quick , speedy , hasty , expeditious : fast and rapid are often interchangeable; fast often describes moving objects or creatures and may suggest constant speedy course, flight, or procedure; rapid may refer to actions and their rate of speed and suggest successful course

a fast runner

a fast horse

a fast train

a fast worker

a rapid approach

a rapid gait

rapid progress

rapid operations

swift may suggest speed or rapidity accompanied by easy facility, sure flight, brisk activity, or lack of interference and delay

flawless and chaste and swift in their machined perfection which even the airplane has never been able to rival — Robert Payne

so swift was Caesar that his greatest exploits were measured by days — J.A.Froude

the flight of his imagination is very swift; the following of it often a breathless business — C.D.Lewis

fleet , sometimes rather poetic or literary, may suggest nimble or graceful lightness and swiftness

the Indian bands swept over the hills on their fleet little ponies and wiped out emigrant wagon trains — American Guide Series: Arizona

how the fleet creature would fly before the wind — Herman Melville

quick applies to lively action with alacrity or to prompt occurrence with short duration

am a quick man with my hands, and in a minute and a half I had done what I wanted to do — G.K.Chesterton

a quick brain for intrigue — John Buchan

in passing quick rather than deliberate judgment on the literature of the day — M.R.Cohen

speedy may suggest velocity or quickness along with promptness, dispatch, or haste

orders for the fastest plane, the swiftest motorboat, the speediest racing car that money and American ingenuity could produce — Gerald Beaumont

industries where there is a need for exceptionally speedy reinforcement — Sir Winston Churchill

in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to speedy and public trial — U.S. Constitution

hasty suggests precipitate hurried rapidity, sometimes ineffective or nervous

it had a hurried evacuated look. Many houses had that. The look of the hasty choice made of what to take along — R.H.Newman

we must, this time, have plans ready — instead of waiting to do a hasty, inefficient, and ill-considered job at the last moment — F.D.Roosevelt

expeditious suggests efficient rapidity

to assist me in every way in making the journey as expeditious as may be — Elinor Wylie

if you suggested expeditious English methods of settling accounts he would laugh at you; he does not want his accounts settled — Norman Douglas

II. adverb

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English faste, from Old English fæste; akin to Old High German fasto firmly; derivative from the root of English fast (I)

1. : in a fast manner: as

a. : firmly , fixedly , securely , soundly

frozen fast

fixed fast in the hardened cement

fast welded

fast asleep

b. : loyally , staunchly , unwaveringly

held fast to his belief in justice

labor held fast to its right to strike — F.L.Paxson

c. : leaving no room for play : in the manner of one caught and immovable : tightly

a foot stuck fast between the boards of the floor

holding his mother's hand fast

also : leaving no access or outlet

a door shut fast

the blinder over his eyes as fast as ever — Mary Deasy

d. : in a rapid manner : quickly , swiftly

run fast

perils had thickened about him fast — Charles Dickens

a building fast going to ruin

also : readily , eagerly

complete the task fast if paid enough

e. : in quick succession

bullets coming thick and fast

f. : with speed and accuracy of mental process : with intellectual agility

a man who could think fast in a crisis

also : continuously and facilely with the intent of influencing or deceiving someone or evading trouble or confusing an issue

when the police caught him in the act he talked fast to try to prove his innocence

what he lacks in knowledge he can make up for by talking fast — Stuart Chase

g. : in a wild or dissipated way

living too fast for his health

: so as to flout the conventions, especially sexual convention in one's behavior

living fast and free

playing fast with the ladies

h. : ahead or in advance of a correct time or posted schedule

a clock that runs fast

a train running two minutes fast

2. obsolete : with a fixity of attention : zealously , steadily

3. archaic : close , near

sat fast by hell's gate — John Milton

4. obsolete : at once , immediately

III. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English fasten, festen from Old English fæstan; akin to Old High German festen to make fast, Old Norse festa to settle, fix; derivative from the root of English fast (I)

obsolete : to make fast : bind

IV. interjection

Etymology: fast (II)

— used as an exclamation in archery expressing a warning to one about to pass in the line of an arrow's flight

V. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English fasten, from Old English fæstan; akin to Old High German fastēn to fast, Old Norse fasta, Gothic fastan; derivative from the root of English fast (I)

intransitive verb

1. : to abstain from food : omit to take nourishment in whole or in part : go hungry

2. : to practice abstinence from food voluntarily for a time as a religious exercise or duty

to counsel men to fast and pray

3. : to restrict one's diet by eating sparingly or by abstaining from certain foods

fast in Lent

transitive verb

: to cause to go without food : deny food to

the patient is fasted and given a mild hypnotic — Lancet

- fast on

VI. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English faste, from Old Norse fasta; akin to Old High German fasta fast; derivative from the root of Old High German fastēn to fast, Old Norse fasta


a. : voluntary abstinence from food or from certain kinds of food for a space of time as a spiritual discipline or as a religious exercise

a day for a general fast

b. : abstinence from food : the omission of or failure to take food for an unusual length of time

2. : a time of fasting

observe the fasts and feasts of the church

went on a fast of a month as a protest

VII. noun

( -s )

Etymology: alteration (influenced by fast ) (I) of Middle English fest, from Old Norse festr rope, mooring cable, from fastr firm — more at fast I

: something that fastens or holds a fastening

a door fast

a window fast


a. : a mooring rope or cable

a stern fast

a quarter fast

— compare breast fast

b. : a post on a pier or on shore around which hawsers are passed in mooring

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.