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

v move faster

accelerate, speed, speed up
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

v make keen or more acute

Type of:
excite, stimulate, stir
stir feelings in

v give life or energy to

Type of:
excite, stimulate
act as a stimulant

v give new life or energy to

animate, reanimate, recreate, renovate, repair, revive, revivify, vivify
come to, resuscitate, revive
return to consciousness
Type of:
arouse, brace, energise, energize, perk up, stimulate
cause to be alert and energetic

v show signs of life

“the fetus quickened
Type of:
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

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