— quickness , n.
/kwik/ , adj., quicker, quickest , n., adv., quicker, quickest .
1. done, proceeding, or occurring with promptness or rapidity, as an action, process, etc.; prompt; immediate: a quick response.
2. that is over or completed within a short interval of time: a quick shower.
3. moving, or able to move, with speed: a quick fox; a quick train.
4. swift or rapid, as motion: a quick flick of the wrist.
5. easily provoked or excited; hasty: a quick temper.
6. keenly responsive; lively; acute: a quick wit.
7. acting with swiftness or rapidity: a quick worker.
8. prompt or swift to do something: quick to respond.
9. prompt to perceive; sensitive: a quick eye.
10. prompt to understand, learn, etc.; of ready intelligence: a quick student.
11. (of a bend or curve) sharp: a quick bend in the road.
12. consisting of living plants: a quick pot of flowers.
13. brisk, as fire, flames, heat, etc.
a. endowed with life.
b. having a high degree of vigor, energy, or activity.
15. living persons: the quick and the dead.
16. the tender, sensitive flesh of the living body, esp. that under the nails: nails bitten down to the quick.
17. the vital or most important part.
18. Chiefly Brit.
a. a line of shrubs or plants, esp. of hawthorn, forming a hedge.
b. a single shrub or plant in such a hedge.
19. cut to the quick , to injure deeply; hurt the feelings of: Their callous treatment cut her to the quick.
[ bef. 900; ME quik lively, moving, swift; OE cwic, cwicu living; c. OS quik, G queck, keck, ON kvikr; akin to L vivus living (see VITAL), Skt jivas living, Gk bíos life (see BIO-), zoé animal life (see ZOO-) ]
Syn. 1. fleet, expeditious. QUICK, FAST, SWIFT, RAPID describe speedy tempo. QUICK applies particularly to something practically instantaneous, an action or reaction, perhaps, of very brief duration: to give a quick look around; to take a quick walk. FAST and SWIFT refer to actions, movements, etc., that continue for a time, and usually to those that are uninterrupted; when used of communication, transportation, and the like, they suggest a definite goal and a continuous trip.
SWIFT, the more formal word, suggests the greater speed: a fast train; a swift message. RAPID, less speedy than the others, applies to a rate of movement or action, and usually to a series of actions or movements, related or unrelated: rapid calculation; a rapid walker. 5. abrupt, curt, short, precipitate. 7. nimble, agile, brisk. 10. See sharp .
Ant. 1, 10. slow.
Usage . The difference between the adverbial forms QUICK and QUICKLY is frequently stylistic. QUICK is more often used in short spoken sentences, especially imperative ones: Come quick! The chimney is on fire. QUICKLY is the usual form in writing, both in the preverb position ( We quickly realized that attempts to negotiate would be futile ) and following verbs other than imperatives ( She turned quickly and left ). See also slow, sure .