Definition of quicken in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkwɪk(ə)n/


1Make or become faster or quicker: [with object]: she quickened her pace, desperate to escape [no object]: I felt my pulse quicken
More example sentences
  • The bandsmen, all dressed in their serious splendour, played at a determined pace, which quickened the pulse.
  • As the ‘kurathi’ started narrating her tale of woe, the pace of the songs quickened as did the steps of her dance.
  • She also urged Japan to quicken the pace of a project aimed at disposing of the huge stockpiles of chemical weapons left in China by retreating Japanese armies.
speed up, accelerate, step up, hasten, hurry, hurry up
informal gee up
2Stimulate or become stimulated: [no object]: her interest quickened (as adjective quickening) he looked with quickening curiosity through the smoke
More example sentences
  • Now, that quickening we call interest originates in the nervous system, but is not limited by it.
  • In 1773 he became sheriff of Bedford, where an inspection of the local jail quickened his interest in the sufferings of prisoners.
  • Yet, obviously, such transference might quicken interest and offer other ways of thinking about a subject.
stimulate, excite, stir up, arouse, rouse, waken, animate, activate, incite, galvanize, instigate, whet, inspire, kindle, fan, refresh, strengthen, invigorate, reanimate, reactivate, revive, revitalize, resuscitate, revivify;
titillate, tempt
2.1 [with object] Give or restore life to: on the third day after his death the human body of Jesus was quickened by the Spirit
More example sentences
  • We trembled from the initial bolt of lightning to the moment when the quickened corpse stirred, arose and lurched from the laboratory table.
  • As the body without the soul is dead, so the soul without the Spirit is dead, and one work of the Spirit is to quicken the dead soul by breathing into it the living spirit.
  • The corpse is then made to swallow crushed rose petals, infused with Azoth, which quicken the corpse to life.
2.2 [with object] archaic Make (a fire) burn brighter.
Example sentences
  • To quicken the flames, benzine and oil were used in great quantities.
  • Never break a synthetic log apart to quicken the fire or use more than one log at a time.
  • An executioner in the foreground quickens the fire with a pair of bellows, whilst another pours the boiling liquid over the Saint.
3 [no object] archaic (Of a woman) reach a stage in pregnancy when movements of the fetus can be felt.
Example sentences
  • When a lady is not pregnant the abdomen is soft and flaccid; when she is pregnant, and after she has quickened, the abdomen; over the region of the womb, is hard and resisting.
3.1(Of a fetus) begin to show signs of life.
Example sentences
  • The Catholic church teaches that life begins at conception; it used to teach that life began at quickening, some 40 days into pregnancy.
  • Abortions performed after quickening were an offence under British Common Law, but there were no fixed penalties and the woman having the abortion was not necessarily held responsible.
  • Up until the 19th century, a woman was deemed officially pregnant when she felt her fetus quicken, which was about four or five months after intercourse had occurred.

Words that rhyme with quicken

sicken, stricken, thicken, Wiccan

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: quick¦en

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