Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020 speed up vb (adverb)
- to increase or cause to increase in speed or rate; accelerate
The past tense and past participle of speed up is speeded up, not sped up
- an instance of this; acceleration
speed /spid/USA pronunciation
n., v., sped /spɛd/USA pronunciation or speed•ed, speed•ing. n.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- quickness or rapidity in moving, traveling, performing, etc.:[uncountable]His speed and strength helped him win the race.
- rate of motion or progress:[countable]the speed of light.
- Automotive a gear ratio in a motor vehicle or bicycle:[countable]How many speeds does your bike have?
- Drugs, Slang Terms[uncountable][Slang.]a stimulating drug, esp. methamphetamine or amphetamine.
- Informal Terms a person, thing, activity, etc., that suits one's ability or personality:[uncountable; usually: one's + ~]Quiet people are more my speed than fast talkers.
- to (cause to) go, move, or proceed with swiftness: [no object]The car sped away before we could read the license plate.[~ + object]The security guards sped the witness out of the courtroom.
- to drive a vehicle at a rate that exceeds the legal limit:[no object]ticketed for speeding.
- to promote the success of;
cause to go smoother and more quickly:[~ + object]The president's approval will speed the committee's work.
- speed up:
- to increase the rate of speed of (something or someone): [~ + up + object]to speed up production.[~ + object + up]to speed production up.
- [no object] to go faster:Can't we speed up a little?
speed•er, n. [countable]Convicted speeders will pay high ticket fines.
- Idiomsat full or top speed, [uncountable]
- at the greatest speed possible:The plane was moving at top speed when the missile hit it.
- to the maximum of one's capabilities:He's working at full speed to get this done.
- Idioms, up to speed, [uncountable]
- operating at full or best speed:When the boat got up to speed it headed out of the harbor.
- functioning at an expected level so as to be able to compete with others:The new firm is not yet up to speed.
(spēd′up′),USA pronunciation n. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- an increasing of speed.
- Businessan imposed increase in the rate of production of a worker without a corresponding increase in the rate of pay.
- noun, nominal use of verb, verbal phrase speed up 1920–25
(spēd),USA pronunciation n., v., sped or speed•ed, speed•ing. n.
- rapidity in moving, going, traveling, proceeding, or performing;
celerity:the speed of light; the speed of sound.
- relative rapidity in moving, going, etc.;
rate of motion or progress:full speed ahead.
- full, maximum, or optimum rate of motion:The car gets to speed in just nine seconds.
- Automotivea transmission gear ratio.
- PhotographyAlso called film speed. the sensitivity of a film or paper to light, measured by an ASA or DIN index, which assigns low numbers to slow film and higher numbers to faster film.
- PhotographyAlso called shutter speed. the length of time a shutter is opened to expose film.
- the largest opening at which a lens can be used.
- Drugs, Slang Terms[Slang.]a stimulating drug, as caffeine, ephedrine, or esp. methamphetamine or amphetamine.
- Informal Termsa person or thing that is compatible with or typical of one's ability, personality, desires, etc.:My speed is writing postcards on the porch while everyone else is tearing around the tennis court.
- [Archaic.]success or prosperity.
- at full or top speed:
- at the greatest speed possible:We drove down the highway at full speed.
- to the maximum of one's capabilities;
with great rapidity:He worked at full speed.
- up to speed:
- operating at full or optimum speed.
- functioning or producing at an expected, acceptable, or competitive level;
up to par:a new firm not yet up to speed.
- to promote the success of (an affair, undertaking, etc.);
further, forward, or expedite.
- to direct (the steps, course, way, etc.) with speed.
- to increase the rate of speed of (usually fol. by up):to speed up industrial production.
- to bring to a particular speed, as a machine.
- to cause to move, go, or proceed with speed.
- to expedite the going of:to speed the parting guest.
- [Archaic.]to cause to succeed or prosper.
- to move, go, pass, or proceed with speed or rapidity.
- to drive a vehicle at a rate that exceeds the legally established maximum:He was arrested for speeding.
- to increase the rate of speed or progress (usually fol. by up).
- to get on or fare in a specified or particular manner.
- [Archaic.]to succeed or prosper.
- bef. 900; 1965–70 for def. 6; (noun, nominal) Middle English spede good luck, prosperity, rapidity, Old English spēd; cognate with Dutch spoed, Old High German spōt; akin to Old English spōwan to prosper, succeed; (verb, verbal) Middle English speden to succeed, prosper, go with speed, Old English spēdan to succeed, prosper; cognate with Old Saxon spōdian, Old High German spuoten
- 1, 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged fleetness, alacrity, dispatch, expedition;
hurry. Speed, velocity, quickness, rapidity, celerity, haste refer to swift or energetic movement or operation. Speed (originally prosperity or success) may apply to human or nonhuman activity and emphasizes the rate in time at which something travels or operates:the speed of light, of a lens, of an automobile, of thought.Velocity, a more learned or technical term, is sometimes interchangeable with speed:the velocity of light;
it is commonly used to refer to high rates of speed, linear or circular:velocity of a projectile.Quickness, a native word, and rapidity, a synonym of Latin origin, suggest speed of movement or operation on a small or subordinate scale;
quickness applies more to people (quickness of mind, of perception, of bodily movement), rapidity more to things, often in a technical or mechanical context:the rapidity of moving parts; a lens of great rapidity.Celerity, a somewhat literary synonym of Latin origin, refers usually to human movement or operation and emphasizes expedition, dispatch, or economy in an activity:the celerity of his response.Haste refers to the energetic activity of human beings under stress;
it often suggests lack of opportunity for care or thought:to marry in haste; a report prepared in haste.
- 11.See corresponding entry in Unabridged advance, favor.
- 13.See corresponding entry in Unabridged accelerate.
- 18.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See rush 1.
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged slowness.
'speed up' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):