Language Tips

to move fast

Written by Liz Potter

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items.

This set of language tips explores the words and phrases we use to describe movement. This week’s tip looks at verbs that mean to move fast:



dart to make a sudden quick movement somewhere:

  • Small boats darted like dragonflies across the lake.
  • She darted into an alleyway and I lost sight of her.

fly to move fast through the air:

  • Pieces of glass and concrete were flying in all directions.
  • A bullet flew past his head.

Fly is also used metaphorically of people, meaning ‘to move quickly’:

  • She flew past me on her bike.
  • Skiers were flying down the slope.

hurry to do something or to move somewhere quickly, especially when you are late or do not have much time:

  • We must hurry or we’ll be late.
  • They hurried into the room, talking loudly as they did so.

rush to hurry in order to get somewhere very quickly:

  • The door burst open and Jo rushed in.

speed to move quickly, especially in a vehicle:

  • an endless stream of traffic speeding towards the city
  • I heard a car speed off.
  • The train sped along in the dark.

Speed is used mainly in written English. It also means to drive faster than the fastest speed allowed:

  • Drivers who are caught speeding risk a heavy fine.

zoom to move very fast, especially in a car or other wheeled vehicle:

  • He came zooming down the street on his motorbike.
  • We lay awake, listening to the cars zooming past.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘to move fast‘.

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Liz Potter

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