adj. quick·er, quick·est
1. Moving or functioning rapidly and energetically; speedy: an animal that is quick enough to escape most predators.
2. Learning, thinking, or understanding with speed and dexterity; bright: a quick mind.
a. Perceiving or responding with speed and sensitivity; keen: quick reflexes.
b. Reacting immediately and sharply: a quick temper.
a. Occurring, achieved, or acquired in a relatively brief period of time: a quick rise through the ranks; a quick profit.
b. Done or occurring immediately: a quick inspection. See Synonyms at fast1.
5. Tending to react hastily: quick to find fault.
1. Sensitive or raw exposed flesh, as under the fingernails.
2. The most personal and sensitive aspect of the emotions: The remark cut her to the quick.
3. The living: the quick and the dead.
4. The vital core; the essence: got to the quick of the matter.
adv. quicker, quickest
[Middle English, alive, lively, quick, from Old English cwicu, alive; see gwei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.