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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.
Origin of rapid
1625-35; < Latin rapidus tearing away, seizing, swift. See rape1, -id4
Related forms
rapidly, adverb
ultrarapid, adjective
ultrarapidly, adverb
Can be confused
fast, quick, rapid, swift (see synonym study at quick)
2. See quick. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rapidly
  • As a result, they can manage their resources with agility, and quickly respond to the demands of a rapidly changing global market.
  • We have a hardworking research staff that keeps careful track of a rapidly changing world in many ways.
  • Conservation of angular momentum explains why an ice skater spins more rapidly as she pulls her arms in.
  • Flat basal rosette spreads rapidly by underground runners.
  • The largest helium sources in the world are rapidly reaching capacity.
  • It faces a rapidly changing mix of students that derives from our rapidly changing demographics.
  • And companies wanting to invest abroad will favour markets that are expanding more rapidly.
  • Global fish populations are rapidly being depleted due to demand, loss of habitat, and unsustainable fishing practices.
  • Plants spread rapidly by underground runners and by seed.
  • No, it didn't give us the same decompression sickness found among deep sea divers who rapidly ascend to the surface.
British Dictionary definitions for rapidly


(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
See also rapids
Derived Forms
rapidly, adverb
rapidity (rəˈpɪdɪtɪ), rapidness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin rapidus tearing away, from rapere to seize; see rape1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rapidly



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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