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English definition of “speed”

speed

noun uk   /spiːd/ us  

speed noun (RATE OF MOVEMENT)

B1 [C or U] how fast something moves: He was travelling at a speed of 90 mph. The car has a top speed of 155 miles per hour. You should lower/reduce your speed as you approach a junction. On a clear, straight road you can gather/pick up speed. He came off the road while driving his car round a bend at high/breakneck speed (= very fast). There are speed restrictions (= controls on how fast traffic is allowed to move) on this part of the road. an electric drill with two speeds (= rates at which it turns) B2 [U] very fast movement: I get a real thrill from speed. He put on a sudden burst of speed. Both cars were travelling at speed (= very fast) when the accident happened. [U] how fast something happens: We were surprised at the speed of the response to our enquiry. It was the speed at which it all happened that shocked me. She got through her work with speed (= quickly) and efficiency. the speed of light/sound the rate at which light or sound travels: The speed of light is 300 million metres per second. These planes travel at twice the speed of sound. [C] a gear noun: a bicycle with ten speeds a ten-speed bicycle [C] the rate at which a photographic film absorbs or reacts to light: What speed film do I need for taking photographs indoors? shutter speed the length of time for which part of a camera is open to allow light to reach the film when a photograph is being taken: a high/low shutter speed

speed noun (DRUG)

[U] slang for amphetamine (= a drug that makes the mind or body more active): She was on speed at the time.

speed

verb [I or T, usually + adv/prep] uk   /spiːd/ (sped or speeded, sped or speeded) us  
to (cause to) move, go, or happen fast: The train sped along at over 120 miles per hour. The actress then sped away/off in a waiting car. We sped down the ski slopes. This year is speeding by/past. Ambulances sped the injured people (= moved them quickly) away from the scene. The best thing you can do to speed your recovery (= make it quicker) is to rest. be speeding to be driving faster than you are legally allowed to do: He was caught speeding.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of speed from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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