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[rap-id] /ˈræp ɪd/

adjective, sometimes, rapider, rapidest.
occurring within a short time; happening speedily:
rapid growth.
moving or acting with great speed; swift:
a rapid worker.
characterized by speed:
rapid motion.
Usually, rapids. a part of a river where the current runs very swiftly.
(of an action or movement) performed or occurring during a short interval of time; quick: a rapid transformation
characterized by high speed: rapid movement
acting or moving quickly; fast: a rapid worker

1630s, “moving quickly,” from French rapide (17c.) and directly from Latin rapidus “hasty, swift, rapid; snatching; fierce, impetuous,” from rapere “hurry away, carry off, seize, plunder,” from PIE root *rep- “to snatch” (cf. Greek ereptomai “devour,” harpazein “snatch away,” Lithuanian raples “tongs”). Meaning “happening in a short time” is from 1780. Related: Rapidly; rapidness. Rapid-transit first attested 1852, in reference to street railways; rapid eye movement is from 1906.


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  • Rapid-eye-movement

    noun 1. rapidly shifting, continuous movements of the eyes beneath closed lids during the stage of sleep characterized by dreaming. noun 1. movement of the eyeballs under closed eyelids during paradoxical sleep, which occurs while the sleeper is dreaming REM rapid eye movement n. Abbr. REM The rapid periodic jerky movement of the eyes during […]

  • Rapid-eye-movement-sleep

    noun 1. . rapid eye movement sleep (rāp’ĭd) See REM sleep.

  • Rapid-fire

    [rap-id-fahyuh r] /ˈræp ɪdˈfaɪər/ adjective 1. characterized by, delivered, or occurring in rapid succession: rapid-fire questions; rapid-fire events. 2. Military. discharging in rapid fire: rapid-fire rifles. 3. discharging, operating, etc., at a rate more rapid than normal: a rapid-fire staple gun. noun, Military. 1. a rate of firing small arms that is intermediate between slow […]

  • Rapidity

    [ruh-pid-i-tee] /rəˈpɪd ɪ ti/ noun 1. a state or quality; quickness; celerity. n. 1650s, from French rapidité and directly from Latin rapiditatem (nominative rapiditas) “swiftness, rapidity, velocity,” from rapidus “hasty, swift, rapid” (see rapid).

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