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First attested in the 1520s. Either from Latin accelerātus, perfect passive participle of accelerō (I accelerate, hasten), formed from ad + celerō (I hasten), which is from celer (quick) (see celerity), or back-formation from acceleration.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ək.ˈsɛl.ə.ˌɹeɪt/, /æk.ˈsɛl.ə.ˌɹeɪt/, /ɪk.ˈsɛl.ə.ˌɹeɪt/
  • (file)


accelerate (third-person singular simple present accelerates, present participle accelerating, simple past and past participle accelerated)

  1. (transitive) To cause to move faster; to quicken the motion of; to add to the speed of.
  2. (transitive) To quicken the natural or ordinary progression or process of.
    to accelerate the growth of a plant, the increase of wealth, etc.
  3. (transitive, physics) To cause a change of velocity.
  4. (transitive) To hasten, as the occurrence of an event.
    to accelerate our departure
  5. (transitive, education) To enable a student to finish a course of study in less than normal time.
  6. (intransitive) To become faster; to begin to move more quickly.
  7. (intransitive) Grow; increase.



Derived terms

Related terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


accelerate (not comparable)

  1. (archaic) Accelerated; quickened; hastened; hurried.
    • 1662, Thomas Salusbury, Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Dialogue 2:
      ... a general knowledg of the definition of motion, and of the distinction of natural and violent, even and accelerate, and the like, sufficing.


  1. ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 , →ISBN), page 6


Etymology 1


accelerate f pl

  1. feminine plural of accelerato


accelerate f pl

  1. feminine plural of accelerato

Etymology 2



  1. inflection of accelerare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of accelerō