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


Now, when I'm arrested for speeding, I'm not in the least flustered—oh, not a little bit!

What concerned him now was this mystery of the speeding cyclists.

There was a slight jar as of something landing on the speeding conveyor.

We caught a rope ladder and scrambled up, and at once we felt her speeding on.

There was a clatter and rattle of speeding hoofs, which rapidly died out.

It was the blind he had anticipated, but—that sound of speeding wheels.

Now they were in the town, now speeding down the street leading to the bank.

Again he tried to picture the girl, speeding on toward that inner world.

Leary touched his cap, and in a few moments they were speeding up the Avenue.

Sometimes he saw his quarry, sometimes he was only guided by the beat of the speeding hoofs.


Old English sped "success, prosperity, advancement," from Proto-Germanic *spodiz (cf. Old Saxon spod "success," Dutch spoed "haste, speed," Old High German spuot "success," Old Saxon spodian "to cause to succeed," Middle Dutch spoeden, Old High German spuoten "to haste"), from PIE *spo-ti- "speed," from *spe- "to thrive, prosper" (cf. Sanskrit sphayate "increases," Latin sperare "to hope," Old Church Slavonic spechu "endeavor," Lithuanian speju "to have leisure").

Meaning "quickness of motion or progress" emerged in late Old English (usually adverbially, in dative plural, e.g. spedum feran), emerging fully in early Middle English. Meaning "gear of a machine" is attested from 1866. Meaning "methamphetamine, or a related drug," first attested 1967, from its effect on users. Speed bump is 1975; figurative sense is 1990s. Full speed is recorded from late 14c. Speed reading first attested 1965. Speedball "mix of cocaine and morphine or heroin" is recorded from 1909.


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