Meaning of QUICK in English

I. ˈkwik adjective

( usually -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English quik, quike, from Old English cwic, cwicu; akin to Old Frisian & Old Saxon quik alive, Old High German quec, Old Norse kvikr, Gothic qiwai (nominative plural), Latin vivus alive, vivere to live, Greek zōē life, bios mode of life, Lithuanian gyvas living, Sanskrit jīva


a. archaic : marked by the presence of life : not dead : living , alive , animate

shall judge the quick and the dead — 2 Tim 4:1 (Authorized Version)

b. archaic : arrived at a stage of pregnancy at which the motion of the fetus is perceptible

women … quick with child — Oliver Goldsmith

c. chiefly Britain : formed of living plants

a quick hedge

2. : that moves, functions, or is accomplished or obtained swiftly and with vigor, energy, and promptness or that is capable of so moving or functioning or of being so accomplished or obtained : rapid , speedy : as


(1) : fast in understanding, thinking, or learning : speedy in mental processes : mentally agile : mentally nimble

a quick mind

quick thinking

quick students

(2) : reacting to stimuli with speed and keen sensitivity : delicate and sharp in perception

a quick sense of the tactful thing to do

a quick eye for beauty

(3) : aroused immediately and intensely

quick resentment

a quick temper


(1) : fast in development or occurrence

a quick succession of events

(2) : done or taking place with rapidity : done or taking place within only a small interval of time

gave her a quick kiss

a quick finish to the race

gave them a quick look

especially : begun and ended in an instant

a quick flash of lightning

(3) : rapidly often almost instantaneously accomplished or achieved

a quick profit

a quick victory

(4) : consumed rapidly or hurriedly

had a quick bite to eat

especially : swallowed rapidly or hurriedly

had a quick drink at the bar


(1) : marked by speed, readiness, or promptness of action

did a quick job

finished it with quick efficiency

(2) : marked by speed, readiness, or promptness of physical movement

walked with quick steps


(1) : inclined to hastiness of action or treatment : overhasty

must not be too quick in the experiment

(2) : inclined to impatience or anger : easily aroused to impatience or anger

was too quick with her students

3. archaic

a. : not stagnant : running , flowing

gently winding valleys, with clear, quick water — Walter Pater

sweet and quick stream — John Evelyn

b. : extremely soft and mobile from being mixed with water so as to tend to suck down an object touching the surface

the patch of quick ground — P.H.Emerson

quick mud



(1) archaic : burning with intense heat : fiery

the quick flames — P.B.Shelley

: glowing

a quick coal — George Herbert

(2) obsolete : rapidly combustible

quick sulfur — Edmund Spenser

b. of soil : readily absorbing heat by reason of being highly porous in composition

5. obsolete : full of activity : busy , brisk

the markets were very quick — Henry Best

6. obsolete

a. : bitingly sharp in taste or odor : pungent

b. : stingingly severe : caustic

7. : turning, curving, or bending at a sharp angle

a quick turn in the road

8. : imbued, filled , charged , instinct

a speech quick with passion


prompt , ready , apt : quick describes ability to respond instantly or rapidly, often an ability native rather than acquired, or a marked capacity for speedy perception or learning

examined the hall and the men who passed, with the same quick, sharp cunning with which he had examined the street — Liam O'Flaherty

a quick and brilliant student … was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was the valedictorian of his graduating class — Current Biography

prompt may apply to speedy response, often due to training, discipline, preparation, or extreme willingness to serve, sometimes servilely

prompt to spring forward when anything was wanted — R.L.Stevenson

like a competent man of affairs, he was prompt in meeting engagements — V.L.Parrington

a people, gentle, submissive, prompt to obey, and accustomed … to the inexorable demands of tyranny — Agnes Repplier

ready may suggest speed in response or compliance coupled with willingness, vigilance, impetus, skill, or facility

the young lady proved to be as ready as the squire, and the preliminaries [of the marriage] were arranged in little more than five minutes — T.L.Peacock

their ready guns begin to bark — E.L.Beach

not a ready speaker, and so … he had written out what he had to say — H.E.Scudder

apt may focus attention on the fact of possession of qualities, such as intelligence or talent, facilitating speedy response

have proved themselves not only apt pupils, but in many cases … have outstripped their teachers — D.C.Buchanan

to become apt in argument — C.T.Copeland

Synonym: see in addition fast .

II. adverb

( usually -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English quik, from quik, adjective

: quickly

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English quik, quike, from Old English cwic, cwicu, from cwic, cwicu, adjective

1. obsolete : a living thing

2. chiefly Britain : quickset 1


[probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse kvikva, kvika quick (of the flesh), from kvikr alive — more at quick I]

a. : a raw painfully sensitive spot or area of exposed flesh: as

(1) : the extremely sensitive flesh underlying a fingernail or toenail

(2) : the extremely sensitive flesh underlying a corn, bunion, or callus

(3) : the extremely sensitive part of a sore or wound

(4) : the sensitive layers of tissue underlying the epidermis

b. : the inmost sensibilities of an individual

felt hurt to the quick by their remark

c. : the very center of something : the vital essence : heart

the quick of the matter

4. archaic : life 12

5. : quicksilver

6. : quickie

IV. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English quiken, from Old English cwician, from cwic, cwicu, adjective

archaic : quicken

V. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English (northern dialect) quike, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Swedish dialect kvicka, kveka, couch grass, Norwegian dialect kvika — more at quitch

: couch grass 1a

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