speed - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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   us   /spiːd/

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   us   /spiːd/ (sped or speeded, sped or speeded)
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
(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

paradox

a situation or statement that seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics

Word of the Day

What’s All The Commotion About? (Words to describe sounds)

by Kate Woodford,
May 20, 2015
​​​ In this post we look at a range of words and phrases that we use to describe noise and the absence of noise. Starting with complete quiet, we sometimes use the noun hush to describe silence: A hush fell over the room as the bride walked in./There was a deathly hush (=complete

Read More 

plyscraper noun

May 18, 2015
a skyscraper made mainly from wood The development of engineered timber could herald a new era of eco-friendly ‘plyscrapers’. Christchurch welcomed its first multistorey timber structure this year, there are plans for Vancouver, and the talk is China could follow

Read More