Definition of quick in English:


Line breaks: quick
Pronunciation: /kwɪk



informal Back to top  
  • At a fast rate; quickly: he’ll find some place where he can make money quicker [as exclamation]: Get out, quick!
    More example sentences
    • Exxon and Shell say if we don't do something quick the 2004 convention sponsorship deal is off.
    • So get your ducks quick as they are flying out of the place.
    • How quick we have forgotten the sacrifice demanded of those whose homes and communities that stood in the way of the inner relief folly.


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  • 1 (the quick) The soft tender flesh below the growing part of a fingernail or toenail.
    More example sentences
    • You'll enjoy the movie if your idea of a good time is sitting glued to the edge of your seat chewing your fingernails down to the quick.
    • This will prevent the quick from growing too long and prevent the nail from bleeding.
    • As she packed, I saw her hands and her once beautiful nails were bitten to the quick.
  • 1.1The central or most sensitive part of someone or something.
    More example sentences
    • It cuts to straight to the quick of this most sinister tale, using just two actors on a bare stage to tell of a man divided and torn between his good and evil nature.
    • Its implications cut to the quick of the British constitution.
    • It neutralises the whining about failing to address the issue because it cuts to the quick.
  • 2 (as plural noun the quick) • archaic Those who are living: the quick and the dead
    More example sentences
    • They will die as you died, in the footsteps of the dead that were quick.
    • From the salvation of the dead we move to the healing of the quick.
    • This law renders willful killing of an unborn ‘quick’ child by any injury to the mother of the child to be manslaughter.
  • 3 Cricket , • informal A fast bowler.
    More example sentences
    • All it took was a stare and a crook of the eyebrow from any one of the quartet of West Indian quicks in those days for the batsmen to know that a bowler was upset.
    • However, there is enough help for the seamers to persuade both teams to play three frontline quicks.
    • If Bridgetown's Kensington Oval was a fortress for the Caribbean quicks of the 1970s and 80s, Eden Park became the impenetrable battlefield of the lack-of-pace New Zealand attack in the World Cup.


be quick off the mark

see mark1.

cut someone to the quick

Cause someone deep distress by a hurtful remark or action: she was cut to the quick by his accusation
More example sentences
  • The mocking tone was slight, but it cut Maple to the quick.
  • But when she opened The Independent the other day, she was cut to the quick.
  • Gleason's flamboyancy would have cut Buk to the quick.

(as) quick as a flash

see flash1.

quick and dirty

informal , chiefly US Makeshift; done or produced hastily: a quick and dirty synopsis of their work
More example sentences
  • With regard to how these albums were made, Craig said that he is ‘a big believer in the quick and dirty.’
  • While mini-DV camcorders have nothing to fear from Canon's movie mode, it does provide a quick and dirty way to capture impromptu moments.
  • I give a quick and dirty translation below, which unfortunately doesn't preserve the rhyme, the meter, or much of the sensibility, but what can I do?

quick on the draw

see draw.

a quick one

informal A rapidly consumed alcoholic drink.
More example sentences
  • See if you can spot the two I wrote when I was a bit drunk, after the third consecutive ‘oh, just a quick one then’ early evening session in the village pub with the usual suspects.
  • They are also non-refundable, so don't be tempted to have a quick one for Dutch courage before you set off; all climbers are stringently breathalysed!
  • Better make it a quick one - the last train leaves at 6: 35 pm.

quick with child

archaic At a stage of pregnancy when movements of the fetus have been felt.
More example sentences
  • By the present Law, this offence is divided into two classes: the capital offence being where the woman shall be quick with child.
  • In the criminal context, women convicted of capital crimes were permitted to plead that they were quick with child, and to have this claim tested by a group of six women.
  • A woman is usually considered to be ‘quick‘with child around the fourth month of pregnancy.



More example sentences
  • He gets by on quickness and athletic ability, skills that might be starting to fade.
  • What he lacks in size he makes up for with smarts, speed, quickness and tackling ability.
  • I'm impressed with the ActiveWords discussion board and the quickness of the tech staff.


Old English cwic, cwicu 'alive, animated, alert', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kwiek 'sprightly' and German keck 'saucy', from an Indo-European root shared by Latin vivus 'alive' and Greek bios, zōē 'life'.

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