Etymology: Middle English quik, from Old English cwic; akin to Old Norse kvikr living, Latin vivus living, vivere to live, Greek bios, zōē life
Date: before 12th century
1. not dead ; living, alive
2. acting or capable of acting with speed: as
(1) fast in understanding, thinking, or learning ; mentally agile <a quick wit> <quick thinking> (2) reacting to stimuli with speed and keen sensitivity (3) aroused immediately and intensely <quick tempers> b. (1) fast in development or occurrence <a quick succession of events> (2) done or taking place with rapidity <gave them a quick look> c. marked by speed, readiness, or promptness of physical movement <walked with quick steps> d. inclined to hastiness (as in action or response) <quick to criticize> e. capable of being easily and speedily prepared <a quick and tasty dinner> 3. a. archaic not stagnant ; running, flowing b. moving, shifting <quick mud> 4. archaic fiery, glowing 5. obsolete a. pungent b. caustic 6. archaic pregnant 7. having a sharp angle <a quick turn in the road> • quickly adverb • quickness noun Synonyms: quick, prompt, ready, apt mean able to respond without delay or hesitation or indicative of such ability. quick stresses instancy of response and is likely to connote native rather than acquired power <quick reflexes> <a keen quick mind>. prompt is more likely to connote training and discipline that fits one for instant response <prompt emergency medical care>. ready suggests facility or fluency in response <backed by a pair of ready assistants>. apt stresses the possession of qualities (as intelligence, a particular talent, or a strong bent) that makes quick effective response possible <an apt student> <her answer was apt and to the point>. Synonym: see in addition fast. II. noun Date: before 12th century 1. quick plural living beings 2. [probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse kvika sensitive flesh, from kvikr living] a. a painfully sensitive spot or area of flesh (as that underlying a fingernail or toenail) b. the inmost sensibilities <hurt to the quick by the remark> c. the very center of something ; heart 3. archaic life 11 III. adverb Date: 14th century in a quick manner
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.