verb (used with object), ac·cel·er·at·ed, ac·cel·er·at·ing.

  1. to cause faster or greater activity, development, progress, advancement, etc., in: to accelerate economic growth.
  2. to hasten the occurrence of: to accelerate the fall of a government.
  3. Mechanics. to change the velocity of (a body) or the rate of (motion); cause to undergo acceleration.
  4. to reduce the time required for (a course of study) by intensifying the work, eliminating detail, etc.

verb (used without object), ac·cel·er·at·ed, ac·cel·er·at·ing.

  1. to move or go faster; increase in speed.
  2. to progress or develop faster.


  1. to go, occur, or cause to go or occur more quickly; speed up
  2. (tr) to cause to happen sooner than expected
  3. (tr) to increase the velocity of (a body, reaction, etc); cause acceleration

1520s, from Latin acceleratus, past participle of accelerare “to hasten, to quicken,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + celerare “hasten,” from celer “swift” (see celerity). Related: Accelerated; accelerating.

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