hurry vs speed what difference

what is difference between hurry and speed



From Middle English horien (to rush, impel), probably a variation of hurren (to vibrate rapidly, buzz), from Proto-Germanic *hurzaną (to rush) (compare Middle High German hurren (to hasten), Norwegian hurre (to whirl around)), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱers- (to run) (compare Latin currō (I run), Tocharian A kursär/Tocharian B kwärsar (league; course)). Related to hurr, horse, rush.

Alternative etymology derives hurry as a variant of harry, which see.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈhʌɹ.i/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈhʌɹ.i/ (accents without the hurryfurry merger)
  • (US) IPA(key): [ˈhɝ.i] (accents with the hurryfurry merger)
  • Rhymes: -ʌri


hurry (countable and uncountable, plural hurries)

  1. Rushed action.
  2. Urgency.
  3. (American football) an incidence of a defensive player forcing the quarterback to act faster than the quarterback was prepared to, resulting in a failed offensive play.
  4. (music) A tremolando passage for violins, etc., accompanying an exciting situation.

Derived terms

  • in a hurry



hurry (third-person singular simple present hurries, present participle hurrying, simple past and past participle hurried)

  1. (intransitive) To do things quickly.
  2. (intransitive) Often with up, to speed up the rate of doing something.
  3. (transitive) To cause to be done quickly.
  4. (transitive) To hasten; to impel to greater speed; to urge on.
    • the rapid Stream presently draws him in , carries him away , and hurries him down violently.
  5. (transitive) To impel to precipitate or thoughtless action; to urge to confused or irregular activity.
  6. (mining) To put: to convey coal in the mine, e.g. from the working to the tramway.
    • 1842, The Condition and Treatment of the Children Employed in the Mines, page 45:
      Elizabeth Day, aged seventeen [] “I have been nearly nine years in the pit. I trapped for two years when I first went, and have hurried ever since. I have hurried for my father until a year ago. I have to help to riddle and fill, []


  • See also Thesaurus:rush


See also

  • haste
  • hurry up
  • di di mau



  • IPA(key): /spiːd/
  • Rhymes: -iːd

Etymology 1

From Middle English spede (prosperity, good luck, quickness, success), from Old English spēd (luck, prosperity, success), from Proto-West Germanic *spōdi (prosperity, success), from Proto-West Germanic *spōan, Proto-Germanic *spōaną (to prosper, succeed, be happy), from Proto-Indo-European *speh₁- (to prosper, turn out well). Cognate with Scots spede, speid (success, quickness, speed), Dutch spoed (haste; speed), German Low German Spood (haste; speed; eagerness; success), German Sput (progress, acceleration, haste). Related also to Old English spōwan (to be successful, succeed), Albanian shpejt (to speed, to hurry) and Russian спеши́ть (spešítʹ, to hurry), Latin spēs (hope, expectation), spērō (hope, verb), perhaps also to Ancient Greek σπεύδω (speúdō, to urge on, hasten, press on).


speed (countable and uncountable, plural speeds)

  1. The state of moving quickly or the capacity for rapid motion.
    Synonyms: celerity, rapidity, velocity
  2. (mathematics, physics) The rate of motion or action, specifically the magnitude of the velocity; the rate distance is traversed in a given time.
    Hyponyms: lightspeed, speed of light, speed of sound
  3. (photography) The sensitivity to light of film, plates or sensor.
  4. (photography) The duration of exposure, the time during which a camera shutter is open (shutter speed).
  5. (photography) The largest size of the lens opening at which a lens can be used.
  6. (photography) The ratio of the focal length to the diameter of a photographic objective.
  7. (slang, uncountable) Amphetamine or any amphetamine-based drug (especially methamphetamine) used as a stimulant, especially illegally.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:methamphetamine
  8. (archaic) Luck, success, prosperity.
  9. (slang) Personal preference.
  10. (finance, uncountable) A third-order measure of derivative price sensitivity, expressed as the rate of change of gamma with respect to changes in the underlying asset price.
    Synonyms: DgammaDspot, gamma of the gamma
    Hypernym: Greeks
Derived terms
Related terms
See also

Units for measuring speed: metres/meters per second, m/s, kilometres/kilometers per hour, km/h (metric); knot, kt, kn (nautical); feet per second, ft/s, ft/sec and fps, miles per hour, mph (imperial and U.S. customary); mach (aeronautical)

Etymology 2

From Middle English speden, from Old English spēdan (to speed, prosper, succeed, have success), from Proto-West Germanic *spōdijan (to succeed). Cognate with Scots spede, speid (to meet with success, assist, promote, accomplish, speed), Dutch spoeden (to hurry, rush), Low German spoden, spöden (to hasten, speed), German sputen, spuden (to speed).


speed (third-person singular simple present speeds, present participle speeding, simple past and past participle sped or (mostly UK) speeded)

  1. (intransitive, archaic) To succeed; to prosper, be lucky.
    • 1596-97, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act V, Scene i[1]:
      We have been praying for our husbands’ healths,
      Which speed, we hope, the better for our words.
      Are they returned?
    • 18thc., Oliver Goldsmith, Introductory to Switzerland
      At night returning, every labor sped, / He sits him down the monarch of a shed: / Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys, / His children’s looks, that brighten at the blaze;
  2. (transitive, archaic) To help someone, to give them fortune; to aid or favour.
    • with rising gales that sped their happy flight
  3. (intransitive) To go fast.
  4. (intransitive) To exceed the speed limit.
  5. (transitive) To increase the rate at which something occurs.
    • 1982, Carole Offir & Carole Wade, Human sexuality, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, p.454:
      It is possible that the uterine contractions speed the sperm along.
    • 2004, James M. Cypher & James L. Dietz, The process of economic development, Routledge, p.359:
      Such interventions can help to speed the process of reducing CBRs and help countries pass through the demographic transition threshold more quickly [].
  6. (intransitive, slang) To be under the influence of stimulant drugs, especially amphetamines.
    • 2008, Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap, Allen and Unwin, p.46:
      If Hector had not been speeding, it was possible that his next thought would have hurt: he loves his uncle unconditionally, in a way he will never love me.
  7. (obsolete) To be expedient.
  8. (archaic) To hurry to destruction; to put an end to; to ruin.
  9. (archaic) To wish success or good fortune to, in any undertaking, especially in setting out upon a journey.
  10. To cause to make haste; to dispatch with celerity; to drive at full speed; hence, to hasten; to hurry.
    • He sped him thence, home to his habitation.
  11. To hasten to a conclusion; to expedite.
    • 1726, John Ayliffe, Parergon juris canonici Anglicani
      Judicial acts [] are sped in open court at the instance of one or both of the parties.
Usage notes
  • The Cambridge Guide to English Usage indicates that sped is for objects in motion (the race car sped) while speeded is used for activities or processes, but notes that the British English convention does not hold in American English.
  • Garner’s Modern American Usage (2009) indicates that speeded is incorrect, except in the phrasal verb, speed up. Most American usage of speeded conforms to this.
  • Sped is about six times more common in American English (COCA) than speeded. Sped is twice as common in UK English (BNC).
  • For quotations using this term, see Citations:speed.
Derived terms
  • speed up
  • Godspeed


  • Peeds, deeps, pedes, spede



speed m (plural speeds)

  1. speed (amphetamine)

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