speed

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more haste, less speed

Acting too quickly and without due diligence, focus, and attention to detail will result in avoidable mistakes and thus require even more time to complete the task satisfactorily. (The logic of the phrase is essentially "too much haste results in less overall speed.") Primarily heard in UK. I know we're all eager to get the new software released to the public, but remember: more haste, less speed. We don't want to end up wasting time fixing bugs that could have been avoided.
See also: less, more, speed

speedhead

Someone who abuses or is addicted to an amphetamine, especially methamphetamine. (Also written as "speed head.") This state is a thoroughfare for methamphetamine to the rest of the country, so it's little wonder that there are so many speedheads here.

at top speed

As fast as something or someone can go. Once Tom caught the ball, he took off at top speed toward the end zone. I started feeling nauseous on the way home because Kelly was driving at top speed on a windy highway.
See also: speed, top

at full speed

 and at full tilt; at full throttle
as fast as possible. The motor was running at full speed. John finished his running at full tilt. When the horse reached the back stretch he was at full throttle.
See also: full, speed

clock someone at speeds of

some amount Go to speeds of some amount.
See also: clock, of, speed

hit speeds of

some amount Go to speeds of some amount.
See also: hit, of, speed

Make haste slowly,

 and More haste, less speed.
Prov. Act quickly, but not so quickly that you make careless mistakes. Jane: Why are you throwing your clothes around the room? Alan: You told me to get my things packed in a hurry. Jane: Yes, but make haste slowly; otherwise we'll have to spend an hour cleaning up the mess you make. I know you want to finish that sweater by Joe's birthday, but you're knitting so fast that you make mistakes. More haste, less speed.
See also: haste, make, slowly

pick up speed

to increase speed. The train began to pick up speed as it went downhill. The car picked up speed as we moved into the left lane.
See also: pick, speed, up

reach speeds of

some amount Go to speeds of some amount.
See also: of, reach, speed

speed away (from someone or something)

to move or drive away very fast from someone or something. The taxi sped away from the passenger who had just alighted. The car sped away from the accident. The motorcycle sped away.
See also: away, speed

speed someone or something up

to cause someone or something to move faster. We tried to speed him up, but he is just a very slow person. We sped up the process, but it still took too long.
See also: speed, up

speed up

to go faster. Please speed up. We are late.
See also: speed, up

*speeds of

some amount a variety of speeds (of movement) of a certain level. (*Typically: clock someone at ~; have ~; hit ~; reach ~.) The cops clocked him at speeds of up to one hundred miles per hour.
See also: of, speed

up to par

Fig. as good as the standard or average; up to standard. I'm just not feeling up to par today. I must be coming down with something. The manager said that the report was not up to par and gave it back to Mary to do over again.
See also: par, up

*up to speed

 
1. Fig. moving, operating, or funtioning a normal or desired rate. (*Typically: be ~; bring something ~; get ~; get something ~.) Terri did everything she could to bring her workers up to speed, but couldn't. Can we get this production line up to speed?
2. and *up to speed on someone or something Fig. fully apprised about someone or something; up-to-date on the state of someone or something. (*Typically: be ~; bring someone ~; get ~; get someone ~.) Please bring me up to speed on this matter. I'll feel better about it when I get up to speed on what's going on.
See also: speed, up

up to par

at the usual or expected standard up to the mark When your work is up to par we can review your salary again. Are your computer skills up to par?
Usage notes: often used in the form not up to par: She hasn't been up to par since the beginning of last week.
Related vocabulary: at (a) low ebb
See also: par, up

full speed ahead

with all possible energy and enthusiasm full steam ahead The company decided to go full speed ahead on plans to make pasta in the United States.
See also: ahead, full, speed

pick up speed

to increase in value or degree Stocks picked up speed in the final hour of trading this afternoon.
See also: pick, speed, up

up to speed

having the most recent information It took a long time for the FBI to get up to speed on computer crime. We'll bring you up to speed on the day's top stories after this commercial break.
Related vocabulary: stay abreast of something
See also: speed, up

up to speed

if you are up to speed with a subject or an activity, you have all the latest information about it and are able to do it well (often + with ) We arranged for some home tutoring to get him up to speed with the other children in his class. (often + on ) Before we start the meeting, I'm just going to bring you up to speed on the latest developments.
See also: speed, up

full speed ahead

Also, full steam ahead. As fast and as strongly as possible. For example, There's only one way we'll get there on time, so go full speed ahead, or Production would go full steam ahead as soon as the orders were confirmed. It is also put as with a full head of steam, as in She was traveling with a full head of steam-she was due there at noon. These expressions all allude to the steam engine, where full steam signifies that a boiler has developed maximum pressure. They became well known through an order allegedly given by Admiral David Farragut at the battle of Mobile Bay (1864): "Damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead!"
See also: ahead, full, speed

speed up

Accelerate, expedite, increase the rate, as in The car speeded up as it went downhill, or It's difficult to speed up production without new equipment. [Late 1800s]
See also: speed, up

up to par

Also, up to scratch or snuff or speed or the mark . Satisfactory, up to a given standard, as in She didn't feel up to par today so she stayed home, or I'm sure he'll come up to scratch when the time comes, or She's up to snuff again. Nearly all the versions of this idiom come from sports, par from golf, scratch and mark from boxing (after being knocked down a fighter had eight seconds to make his way to a mark scratched in the center of the ring), and speed from racing. However, the allusion in the variant with snuff, which dates from the early 1800s, has been lost.
See also: par, up

speed by

v.
1. To pass quickly, as of a moving object or an interval of time: During vacation, the days sped by.
2. To pass someone or something quickly: The car sped by me.
See also: speed

speed off

v.
To leave or drive off rapidly: She hopped in her car and sped off. The ambulance sped off to the hospital.
See also: off, speed

speed through

v.
1. To accomplish or proceed with something swiftly and energetically: The students sped through the easy assignment.
2. To move rapidly through something: The train sped through the countryside.
See also: speed

speed up

v.
1. To increase the speed or rate of something; accelerate something: The company sped up production in order to meet the demand for their product. The conveyor belt is moving too slowly—can you speed it up?
2. To move, work, or happen at a faster rate; accelerate: As he hiked uphill, his pulse sped up.
See also: speed, up

speed

1. n. methamphetamine; amphetamine in general. (Drugs.) Kids think that speed won’t get them into trouble.
2. in. to use methamphetamine; to be high on methamphetamine or amphetamine. (Drugs.) Kids who speed think it is a harmless blow-off.

speed demon

1. n. a fast runner; a fast driver. Tom is a speed demon. He qualified for the Olympics.
2. n. a habitual user of methamphetamine. (Drugs.) When they are high, most speed demons don’t know what they are doing.
See also: demon, speed

speed freak

and speedhead
n. a drug user who injects methamphetamine; an amphetamine user. (Drugs and general slang.) Speed freaks, not heroin addicts, account for a high proportion of drug-related crime.
See also: freak, speed

speedhead

verb

speed merchant

n. someone who does something fast: a runner, pitcher, swimmer, driver, etc. What a pitch! That guy is a speed merchant for sure.
See also: merchant, speed

up to speed

1.
a. Operating at maximum speed.
b. Producing something or performing at an acceptable rate or level.
2. Informal Fully informed; conversant: I'm not up to speed on these issues yet.
See also: speed, up
References in periodicals archive ?
Results of the OTS survey further indicate several specific factors contribute to California drivers' speeding on both freeways and surface streets.
color) The California Highway Patrol has a zero-tolerance policy on speeding, despite many Californians' belief that they won't get busted for only going 5 or 10 mph over the posted speed limit.
To residents of Racine Street, it seems as though motorists just can't resist speeding along their stretch of road.
And the City Council reviewed its policy in December because there were complaints that the humps merely diverted speeding motorists to other cozy residential streets.
Under the state's so-called speed trap law, police cannot use radar guns to enforce speeding laws until the city completes a survey to determine safe operating speeds.
City officials proposed the program after residents complained about drivers speeding through neighborhood streets.
The humps are usually installed in sets, and have been known to alleviate problems caused by drivers using side streets as short cuts, or to brake excessive speeding in residential neighborhoods, according to officials in neighboring cities.
Augusta said drivers, many of whom commute long distances on the freeway, seem to believe that the new speed limit has given them an additional 10 mph cushion from speeding tickets.