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fast Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun abstaining from food
  2. verb abstain from certain foods, as for religious or medical reasons
    • Catholics sometimes fast during Lent
  3. verb abstain from eating
    • Before the medical exam, you must fast
  4. adjective acting or moving or capable of acting or moving quickly
    • fast film
    • on the fast track in school
    • set a fast pace
    • a fast car
  5. adjective (used of timepieces) indicating a time ahead of or later than the correct time
    • my watch is fast
  6. adjective at a rapid tempo
    • the band played a fast fox trot
  7. adjective satellite (of surfaces) conducive to rapid speeds
    • a fast road
    • grass courts are faster than clay
  8. adjective satellite resistant to destruction or fading
    • fast colors
  9. adjective satellite unrestrained by convention or morality
    debauched; libertine; dissolute; degenerate; degraded; dissipated; riotous; profligate.
    • Congreve draws a debauched aristocratic society
    • deplorably dissipated and degraded
    • riotous living
    • fast women
  10. adjective satellite hurried and brief
    quick; flying.
    • paid a flying visit
    • took a flying glance at the book
    • a quick inspection
    • a fast visit
  11. adjective satellite securely fixed in place
    firm; immobile.
    • the post was still firm after being hit by the car
  12. adjective satellite unwavering in devotion to friend or vow or cause
    firm; loyal; truehearted.
    • a firm ally
    • loyal supporters
    • the true-hearted soldier...of Tippecanoe"- Campaign song for William Henry Harrison
    • fast friends
  13. adjective satellite (of a photographic lens or emulsion) causing a shortening of exposure time
    • a fast lens
  14. adverb quickly or rapidly (often used as a combining form)
    • how fast can he get here?
    • ran as fast as he could
    • needs medical help fast
    • fast-running rivers
    • fast-breaking news
    • fast-opening (or fast-closing) shutters
  15. adverb firmly or closely
    • held fast to the rope
    • her foot was stuck fast
    • held tight

Fast intransitive verb
AS. f&ae;stan; akin to D. vasten, OHG. fasten, G. fasten, Icel. & Sw. fasta, Dan. faste, Goth. fastan to keep, observe, fast, and prob. to E. fast firm.
imperfect & past participle Fasted; present participle & verbal noun Fasting
  1. To abstain from food; to omit to take nourishment in whole or in part; to go hungry.
    Fasting he went to sleep, and fasting waked. Milton.
  2. To practice abstinence as a religious exercise or duty; to abstain from food voluntarily for a time, for the mortification of the body or appetites, or as a token of grief, or humiliation and penitence.
    Thou didst fast and weep for the child. 2 Sam. xii. 21.
Fast noun
OE. faste, fast; cf. AS. fsten, OHG. fasta, G. faste. See Fast, v. i.
  1. Abstinence from food; omission to take nounrishment.
    Surfeit is the father of much fast. Shak.
  2. Voluntary abstinence from food, for a space of time, as a spiritual discipline, or as a token of religious humiliation.
  3. A time of fasting, whether a day, week, or longer time; a period of abstinence from food or certain kinds of food; as, an annual fast. Shak.
Fast adjective
OE., firm, strong, not loose, AS. fst; akin to OS. fast, D. vast, OHG. fasti, festi, G. fest, Isel. fastr, Sw. & Dan. fast, and perh. to E. fetter. The sense swift comes from the idea of keeping close to what is pursued; a Scandinavian use. Cf. Fast, adv., Fast, v., Avast.
comparative Faster ; superlative Fastest
  1. Firmly fixed; closely adhering; made firm; not loose, unstable, or easily moved; immovable; as, to make fast the door.
    There is an order that keeps things fast. Burke.
  2. Firm against attack; fortified by nature or art; impregnable; strong.
    Outlaws . . . lurking in woods and fast places. Spenser.
  3. Firm in adherence; steadfast; not easily separated or alienated; faithful; as, a fast friend.
  4. Permanent; not liable to fade by exposure to air or by washing; durable; lasting; as, fast colors.
  5. Tenacious; retentive. Obs.
    Roses, damask and red, are fast flowers of their smells. Bacon.
  6. Not easily disturbed or broken; deep; sound.
    All this while in a most fast sleep. Shak.
  7. Moving rapidly; quick in mition; rapid; swift; as, a fast horse.
  8. Given to pleasure seeking; disregardful of restraint; reckless; wild; dissipated; dissolute; as, a fast man; a fast liver. Thackeray.
Fast adverb
OE. Faste firmly, strongly, quickly, AS. faste. See Fast, a.
  1. In a fast, fixed, or firmly established manner; fixedly; firmly; immovably.
    We will bind thee fast. Judg. xv. 13.
  2. In a fast or rapid manner; quickly; swiftly; extravagantly; wildly; as, to run fast; to live fast.
    He, after Eve seduced, unminded slunk Into the wood fast by. Milton.
    Fast by the throne obsequious Fame resides. Pope.
Fast noun
  1. That which fastens or holds; especially, (Naut.) a mooring rope, hawser, or chain; -- called, according to its position, a bow, head, quarter, breast, or stern fast; also, a post on a pier around which hawsers are passed in mooring.
Fast noun
OF. fust, F. ft, fr. L. fustis stick staff.
  1. (Arch.) The shaft of a column, or trunk of pilaster. Gwilt.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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