Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR FAST

People looked around at Harriet, but Harriet was fast asleep.

Let me fix your hair and we'll hurry to Vinton's as fast as ever we can.

But, fast as you could move, Scottie, powder drives lead a lot faster.

"Come out of that," he shouted, and made his way through the company as fast as he could.

I had to walk as fast as I could, and exercise my limbs all I could, in order to keep warm.

The sun had gone down, and the twilight was fast losing itself in night.

Hester and the major got Corney to bed, and instantly he was fast asleep.

I have been getting your eyes open as fast as I could all the time!

The lady sat with parted lips, and her breath came quick and fast.

But let the men break their fast, and we shall then take counsel what to do.

WORD ORIGIN

Old English fæst "firmly fixed, steadfast, secure, enclosed," probably from Proto-Germanic *fastuz (cf. Old Frisian fest, Old Norse fastr, Dutch vast, German fest), from PIE root *past- "firm" (cf. Sanskrit pastyam "dwelling place").

The adverb meaning "quickly, swiftly" was perhaps in Old English, or from Old Norse fast, either way developing from the sense of "firmly, strongly, vigorously" (cf. to run hard means to run fast; also compare fast asleep), or perhaps from the notion of a runner who "sticks" close to whatever he is chasing.

The sense of "living an unrestrained life" (usually of women) is from 1746 (fast living is from 1745). Fast buck recorded from 1947; fast food is first attested 1951. Fast-forward first recorded 1948. Fast lane is by 1966; the fast track originally was in horse-racing (1934); figurative sense by 1960s. To fast talk someone (v.) is recorded by 1946.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR FAST

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.