American English

Definition of speed noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    rate of movement/action
  1. 1[countable, uncountable] the rate at which someone or something moves or travels He reduced speed and turned sharp left. The train began to pick up speed (= go faster). The car was gathering speed. a speed of 50 mph at high/low/full/top speed at breakneck speed (= fast in a way that is dangerous) traveling at the speed of light/sound There are speed restrictions on this road. Increasing your walking speed will help to exercise your heart. see also airspeed, ground speed
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] the rate at which something happens or is done the processing speed of the computer This course is designed so that students can progress at their own speed. We aim to increase the speed of delivery (= how quickly goods are sent).
  3. 3[uncountable] the quality of being quick or rapid The accident was due to excessive speed. Speed is his greatest asset as a tennis player. She was overtaken by the speed of events (= things happened more quickly than she expected). (formal) A car flashed past them at speed (= fast).
  4. in photography
  5. 4[countable] a measurement of how sensitive film for cameras, etc. is to light
  6. 5[countable] the time taken by a camera shutter to open and close shutter speeds
  7. on bicycle/car
  8. 6[countable] (especially in compounds) a gear on a bicycle, in a car, etc. a four-speed gearbox a ten-speed mountain bike
  9. drug
  10. 7[uncountable] (informal) an illegal amphetamine drug that is taken to give feelings of excitement and energy
  11. Idioms
    full speed/steam ahead
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    with as much speed or energy as possible
      up to speed (on something)
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    1. 1(of a person, company, etc.) performing at an expected rate or level the cost of bringing the chosen schools up to speed
    2. 2(of a person) having the most recent and accurate information or knowledge Are you up to speed yet on the latest developments?
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: speed