Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “speed”

See all translations

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
More examples

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.
More examples
Phrasal verbs
Translations of “speed”
in Korean 속도…
in Arabic سُرْعة…
in French vitesse…
in Turkish hız, sürat…
in Italian velocità…
in Chinese (Traditional) 運動速度, 速度,速率, 飛速,快速…
in Russian скорость…
in Polish szybkość, prędkość, pęd…
in Spanish velocidad, rapidez…
in Portuguese velocidade…
in German die Geschwindigkeit, die Schnelligkeit…
in Catalan velocitat…
in Japanese 速度, スピード…
in Chinese (Simplified) 运动速度, 速度,速率, 飞速,快速…
(Definition of speed from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of speed?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “speed” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

cold snap

a short period of cold weather

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More