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

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR FASTEST

He has a new auto, you know, and he boasts that it's the fastest one in this country.

She would swim her fastest, as if really anxious to escape him.

In how many hours might one ride to Carlisle at the fastest—in the night and in a cart?

He has a game where you can race the fastest cars in the world.

And now the cricket is the fastest and fanciest hopper there is.

Then fetch the fastest horse in the stable to the front door.

Emetic was the fastest sprinter there that day; a sprinter, not a stayer.

They were both prodigies, but, though rivals, the fastest friends.

He had struck the trail, and urging our horses to their fastest speed, we followed.

I'll go a dollar that you can't do it, and your mare is the fastest on the road.

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.

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