When things quicken, they speed up or make something go faster. If you're late for school, you should probably quicken your pace.

Your heartbeat probably quickens when you're afraid or after you've been running fast, and you could also say that your curiosity quickens (or increases) when you overhear a mysterious phone call. The oldest meaning of quicken, however, is "come to life," a definition which sounds very old fashioned now, but which was once used to describe an advanced stage of pregnancy: "The fetus began to quicken."

Definitions of quicken
  1. verb
    move faster
    synonyms: accelerate, speed, speed up
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    decelerate, retard, slow, slow down, slow up
    lose velocity; move more slowly
    brisk, brisk up, brisken
    become brisk
    type of:
    deepen, intensify
    become more intense
  2. verb
    make keen or more acute
    synonyms: whet
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    type of:
    excite, stimulate, stir
    stir feelings in
  3. verb
    give life or energy to
    synonyms: invigorate
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    type of:
    excite, stimulate
    act as a stimulant
  4. verb
    give new life or energy to
    synonyms: animate, reanimate, recreate, renovate, repair, revive, revivify, vivify
    come to, resuscitate, revive
    return to consciousness
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    type of:
    arouse, brace, energise, energize, perk up, stimulate
    cause to be alert and energetic
  5. verb
    show signs of life
    “the fetus quickened
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    type of:
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
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