Language Tips

Moving fast

moving fast
Liz Potter
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 adverbs and phrases that mean moving fast:

fast quickly:

  • We drove as fast as we could to the hospital.
  • She can’t run very fast.
  • Concorde flew faster than the speed of sound.

quickly at a fast speed:

  • She walked quickly along the drive.
  • The river flows more quickly here.

briskly in a fast and energetic manner:

  • He set off briskly but soon slowed down.

rapidly without delay or in a very short time:

  • Changes to the program were rapidly made.

swiftly quickly:

  • She started up the engine and drove swiftly away.
  • He walked swiftly along the corridor and down the stairs.

speedily at a fast speed:

  • I ran speedily back to the trail entrance and the safety of my car.

at high or top speed very fast, or as fast as possible:

  • Rachel drove us home at high speed.
  • The skaters move across the ice at top speed.

like a flash or quick as a flash or in a flash very quickly:

  • She was at his side in a flash.
  • The police stepped in quick as a flash to separate the two sides.

like lightning or at lightning speed very quickly:

  • These guys move around at lightning speed.
  • Mitch moved like lightning and caught her as she fell.

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

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About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter


  • Hi Liz,

    Thanks for this post! However, there is a mistake in the entry for “like a flash”, “quick as a flash”, and “in a flash”: the second example is the same as that in the entry for “at high/top speed”.

    If I could give a suggestion, I think “Velociraptors in Jurassic Park are quick as a flash” would be nice. 😉

    Thanks for your attention!


  • Hello Klinsman,

    Thanks for letting us know about the error and well done for spotting it. I like your suggestion but have gone for something duller but a bit more typical.

    Best wishes


  • Hello Liz,

    I just realized that “quick” here is an adverb! And yours is a nice example!

    Thanks a lot, Liz. I really love your Language Tips posts. ^^


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