speed1 W1S2 [spi:d] n
1¦(of movement)¦
2¦(of action)¦
6 five-speed/ten-speed etc
7 up to speed
[: Old English; Origin: sped 'success, quickness']
1.) ¦(OF MOVEMENT)¦ [U and C]
the rate at which something moves or travels
The truck was travelling at a speed of 50 mph.
Extreme care is always needed when flying at high speeds .
Beat the mixture for two minutes at low speed .
They drove to the hospital at top speed .
They chased each other through the streets at breakneck speed .
particles that travel at the speed of light
The speed limit in urban areas is usually 30 or 40 mph.
The average wind speed at Stornoway is 14.4 knots.
2.) ¦(OF ACTION)¦ [U and C]
the rate at which something happens or is done
speed of
the speed of change within the industry
a high-speed computer
At that time, cities were growing at breakneck speed (=very fast) .
3.) ¦(FAST)¦[U]
the quality of being fast
The women's basketball team has talent, speed, and power.
with speed
She acted with speed and efficiency.
at speed BrE
a van travelling at speed
pick up/gather speed
(=gradually start to travel faster)
The train began to pick up speed.
a) the degree to which photographic film is sensitive to light
b) the time it takes for a camera ↑shutter to open and close
a shutter speed of 1/250 second
5.) ¦(DRUG)¦[U] informal
an illegal drug that makes you very active
6.) five-speed/ten-speed etc
having five, ten etc ↑gears
a ten-speed bike
7.) up to speed
having the latest information or knowledge about something
Some school officials are only now getting up to speed regarding computers.
John will bring you up to speed (=tell you the latest information) .
full speed/steam ahead atfull1 (18)
COLLOCATES for sense 1
(at) a speed of 60 mph/80 kmph etc
at high/low speed(s)
at great speed
at top/full speed (=as fast as possible)
at lightning speed (=very fast)
at breakneck speed (=dangerously fast)
at the speed of light
speed limit/restriction
wind speed
speed 2
speed2 S3 v past tense and past participle sped [sped] also speeded
1.) [I always + adverb/preposition]
to go quickly
The car sped along the dusty highway.
2.) [T always + adverb/preposition]
to take someone or something somewhere very quickly
An ambulance sped her to the hospital.
3.) be speeding
to be driving faster than the legal limit
I got caught speeding on the A40 yesterday.
4.) also speed sth<=>up [T]
to make something happen faster
≠ ↑slow down
This news should speed his recovery.
speed by phr v
if time speeds by, it seems to pass very quickly
The weeks sped by and soon it was time to go back to school.
speed up phr v
to move or happen faster, or to make something move or happen faster
≠ ↑slow down
The truck speeded up going down the hill.
speed sth<=> up
The new system will speed up the registration process.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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