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.

1625–35; < Latin rapidus tearing away, seizing, swift. See rape1, -id4

rapidly, adverb
ultrarapid, adjective
ultrarapidly, adverb

fast, quick, rapid, swift (see synonym study at quick).

2. See quick.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rapid (ˈræpɪd)
1.  (of an action or movement) performed or occurring during a short interval of time; quick: a rapid transformation
2.  characterized by high speed: rapid movement
3.  acting or moving quickly; fast: a rapid worker
[C17: from Latin rapidus tearing away, from rapere to seize; see rape1]

rapids (ˈræpɪdz)
pl n
part of a river where the current is very fast and turbulent

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1634, from L. rapidus "hasty, snatching," from rapere "hurry away, carry off, seize, plunder," from PIE base *rep- "to snatch" (cf. Gk. ereptomai "devour," harpazein "snatch away"). Rapids is 1765, from Fr. rapides, applied by Fr. voyagers to North American rivers. Rapid-transit first attested 1873;
rapid eye movement is from 1916.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Sites where a river can be forded or waterfalls and rapids occur can become a
  natural meeting point for people.
The river is filled with mild to moderate rapids that lend excitement to your
  whitewater rafting trip.
Operators pride themselves on offering the best commercially run rapids in the
And off-duty rafting guides brave roller-coaster rapids in locally made kayaks.
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