When things quicken, they speed up or make something go faster. If you’re late for school, you should probably quicken your pace.

Your heartbeat probably quickens when you’re afraid or after you’ve been running fast, and you could also say that your curiosity quickens (or increases) when you overhear a mysterious phone call. The oldest meaning of quicken, however, is “come to life,” a definition which sounds very old fashioned now, but which was once used to describe an advanced stage of pregnancy: “The fetus began to quicken.”

Definitions of quicken
  1. verb

    move faster

    accelerate, speed, speed up
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    decelerate, retard, slow, slow down, slow up

    lose velocity; move more slowly

    brisk, brisk up, brisken

    become brisk
    type of:

    deepen, intensify

    become more intense

  2. verb

    make keen or more acute

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    type of:

    excite, stimulate, stir

    stir feelings in

  3. verb

    give life or energy to

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    type of:

    excite, stimulate

    act as a stimulant

  4. verb

    give new life or energy to

    animate, reanimate, recreate, renovate, repair, revive, revivify, vivify

    come to, resuscitate, revive

    return to consciousness
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    type of:

    arouse, brace, energise, energize, perk up, stimulate

    cause to be alert and energetic

  5. verb

    show signs of life

    “the fetus
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    type of:


    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

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