Definition of quick noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//kwɪk//
; NAmE NAmE//kwɪk//
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  • the quick [singular] the soft, sensitive flesh that is under your nails She has bitten her nails down to the quick.
  • Word OriginOld English cwic, cwicu ‘alive, animated, alert’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kwiek ‘sprightly’ and German keck ‘saucy’, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin vivus ‘alive’ and Greek bios, zōē ‘life’.Idioms
    cut somebody to the quick
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    to upset somebody very much by doing or saying something unkind His accusations cut me to the quick. See related entries: Describing unpleasant traits
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: quick