Definition of fast adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//fɑːst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fæst//
    (faster, fastest)
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  1. 1  moving or able to move quickly a fast car/horse the world’s fastest runner
  2. 2  happening in a short time or without delay the fastest rate of increase for years a fast response time Which Word?fast / quick / rapidThese adjectives are frequently used with the following nouns: fast car/​train/​bowler/​pace/​lane quick glance/​look/​reply/​decision/​way rapid change/​growth/​increase/​decline/​progress Fast is used especially to describe a person or thing that moves or is able to move at great speed. Quick is more often used to describe something that is done in a short time or without delay. Rapid, swift and speedy are more formal words. Rapid is most commonly used to describe the speed at which something changes. It is not used to describe the speed at which something moves or is done:a rapid train We had a rapid coffee. Swift usually describes something that happens or is done quickly and immediately:a swift decision The government took swift action. Speedy has a similar meaning:a speedy recovery. It is used less often to talk about the speed at which something moves:a speedy car. For the use of fast and quick as adverbs, note at quick.
  3. 3  able to do something quickly a fast learner
  4. surface
  5. 4producing or allowing quick movement a fast road/pitch see also fast lane
  6. watch/clock
  7. 5[not before noun] showing a time later than the true time I'm early—my watch must be fast. That clock's ten minutes fast.
  8. photographic film
  9. 6(specialist) very sensitive to light, and therefore useful when taking photographs in poor light or of something that is moving very quickly
  10. firmly fixed
  11. 7(of a boat, etc.) firmly fixed and safe He made the boat fast.
  12. colours in clothes
  13. 8not likely to change or to come out when washed There is no noun related to fast. Use speed in connection with vehicles, actions, etc.; quickness is used about thinking.
  14. Word Originadjective Old English fæst ‘firmly fixed, steadfast’ and fæste ‘firmly’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vast and German fest ‘firm, solid’ and fast ‘almost’. In Middle English the adverb developed the senses ‘strongly, vigorously’ (compare with run hard), and ‘close, immediate’ (just surviving in the archaic fast by; compare with hard by), hence ‘closely, immediately’ and ‘quickly’; the idea of rapid movement was then reflected in adjectival use. Extra examplesHer pulse seemed very fast. I should make a very fast profit on these. I suppose delivery in two days is pretty fast, really. Are you a fast reader with the ability to retain the key points? He’s just become the world’s fastest runner. It’s a very fast road and people do not realize what speed they are doing. She loves driving fast cars. These are complex programs needing very large and fast computers. We can guarantee a fast response time. We’ve recorded the fastest rate of increase for several years.Idioms
      be quick/fast on the draw
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    1. 1(informal) to be quick to understand or react in a new situation You can't fool him—he's always quick on the draw.
    2. 2to be quick at pulling out a gun in order to shoot it
    (of films/movies, shows, etc.) full of rapid action and sudden changes In his latest movie, the action is fast and furious. More Like This Alliteration in idioms belt and braces, black and blue, born and bred, chalk and cheese, chop and change, done and dusted, down and dirty, in dribs and drabs, eat somebody out of house and home, facts and figures, fast and furious, first and foremost, forgive and forget, hale and hearty, hem and haw, kith and kin, mix and match, part and parcel, puff and pant, to rack and ruin, rant and rave, risk life and limb, short and sweet, signed and sealed, spic and span, through thick and thin, this and that, top and tail, tried and tested, wax and waneSee worksheet. a person who can talk very quickly and easily, but who cannot always be trusted As a politician, she had the reputation for being a real fast talker. (informal) a person who knows how to get what they want quickly, especially when beginning a sexual relationship with somebody (especially after a negative) that cannot be changed in any circumstances There are no hard and fast rules about this. This situation isn’t hard and fast. (informal, often disapproving) to earn money quickly and easily This is a long-term project. We are not out to make a quick buck.
    pull a fast one (on somebody)
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    (slang) to trick somebody See related entries: Dishonest
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: fast