Share this entry
rapid Syllabification: rap·id
Pronunciation: /ˈrapəd/

Definition of rapid in English:


1Happening in a short time or at a fast pace: the country’s rapid economic decline he was disposing of wives in rapid succession
More example sentences
  • My forecast is for that number to continue to grow to at a rapid rate across the coming years.
  • Gun collecting has really taken off in the last few years and prices are moving up at a rapid rate.
  • With the rapid fall in interest rates the desire to purchase an annuity diminished.
1.1(Of movement or activity) characterized by great speed: his breathing was rapid and jerky
More example sentences
  • As the name indicates, the eyes of the sleeper move back and forth at rapid speed during their sleep.
  • Billy Whizz, named for the rapid speed at which he could move, escaped on July 16 last year.
  • His ugly face split into a malicious grin and he bore down upon her with rapid speed.


(usually rapids) Back to top  
A fast-flowing and turbulent part of the course of a river.
Example sentences
  • We could not see the other side and we had no boats that could brave the river rapids.
  • Water splashed into my mouth as the wild river rapids threw me this way and that.
  • Guides lead the party down river to negotiate the rapids and climb the rocks that block the way.


Pronunciation: /ˈrapədlē/
Example sentences
  • In the heat, the grass grows rapidly and the flowers wilt fast, so there was much to be done.
  • Yet even he admits that defending his sport is rapidly becoming an impossible task.
  • Pea aphids can be found at low levels but are expected to multiply rapidly in the warm weather.
quickly, fast, swiftly, speedily, at the speed of light, posthaste, at full tilt, briskly;
informal like a shot, pretty damn quick, PDQ, in a flash, on the double, like a bat out of hell, like lightning, like greased lightning, like mad, like the wind, lickety-split, at warp speed
literary apace
Pronunciation: /ˈrapədnəs/
Example sentences
  • He said that the government had prioritized the sale of ‘technology driven’ companies because of the rapidness of change in technology.
  • I consider the gameplay speed of Halo 2 to be just perfect for online playing compared to the vertigo-inducing rapidness of Doom 3.
  • As I listened to the steady in-and-out of my own breathing, and the increasing rapidness of my heartbeat, I wished, for a moment in time, that Kerwin would kiss me.


Mid 17th century: from Latin rapidus, from rapere 'take by force'.

  • rape from Late Middle English:

    This originally referred to the violent seizure of property, and later to the carrying off of a woman by force. It comes via Anglo-Norman French from Latin rapere ‘seize’, also the source of the word rapacious and rapid [both M17th], and of rapt (Late Middle English) and rapture (late 16th century), when you are carried away by your feelings. In Old French repere was changed to ravir, source of ravish (Middle English). The plant name, rape, originally referred to the turnip. It is from Latin rapum, rapa ‘turnip’.

Words that rhyme with rapid

sapid, vapid
Definition of rapid in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources