v. ac·cel·er·at·ed, ac·cel·er·at·ing, ac·cel·er·ates
a. To increase the speed of: accelerated the engine. See Synonyms at speed.
b. Physics To change the velocity of.
2. To cause to occur sooner than expected: accelerated his retirement by a year.
3. To cause to develop or progress more quickly: a substance used to accelerate a fire.
a. To reduce the time required for (an academic course, for example); compress into a shorter period.
b. To make it possible for (a student) to finish an academic course faster than usual.
1. To move or act faster.
2. Physics To undergo a change in velocity.
[Latin accelerāre, accelerāt- : ad-, intensive pref.; see AD– + celerāre, to quicken (from celer, swift).]
ac·celer·a·to′ry (-ər-ə-tôr′ē) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.