v. ac·cel·er·at·ed, ac·cel·er·at·ing, ac·cel·er·ates
a. To increase the speed of: accelerated the engine. See Synonyms at speed.
b. Physics To change the velocity of.
2. To cause to occur sooner than expected: accelerated his retirement by a year.
3. To cause to develop or progress more quickly: a substance used to accelerate a fire.
a. To reduce the time required for (an academic course, for example); compress into a shorter period.
b. To make it possible for (a student) to finish an academic course faster than usual.
1. To move or act faster.
2. Physics To undergo a change in velocity.
[Latin accelerāre, accelerāt- : ad-, intensive pref.; see AD– + celerāre, to quicken (from celer, swift).]
ac·celer·a·to′ry (-ər-ə-tôr′ē) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.