1 of 2


: rapidity of motion : swiftness
out of breath from haste Jane Austen
We must make haste.
: rash or headlong action : precipitateness
She sent the letter in haste and later regretted it.
the beauty of speed uncontaminated by haste Harper's
: undue eagerness to act
In their haste to leave for the airport, they forgot their passports.


2 of 2


hasted; hasting

transitive verb

archaic : to urge on : hasten
with our fair entreaties haste them on William Shakespeare
haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee jest and youthful jollity John Milton

intransitive verb

: to move or act swiftly
these minutes even now hasting into eternity Winston Churchill
Choose the Right Synonym for haste

haste, hurry, speed, expedition, dispatch mean quickness in movement or action.

haste applies to personal action and implies urgency and precipitancy and often rashness.

marry in haste

hurry often has a strong suggestion of agitated bustle or confusion.

in the hurry of departure she forgot her toothbrush

speed suggests swift efficiency in movement or action.

exercises to increase your reading speed

expedition and dispatch both imply speed and efficiency in handling affairs but expedition stresses ease or efficiency of performance and dispatch stresses promptness in concluding matters.

the case came to trial with expedition
paid bills with dispatch

Example Sentences

Noun The application had been approved with undue haste. made haste to get there on time
Recent Examples on the Web
Try to gain useful insights by taking a closer look at any fears that are motivating your haste. Chicago Tribune, 25 Nov. 2022 Disasters compress time, and in a world besieged by them, dramatic shifts occur: For planners and architects and officials, whose work typically unfolds over years, disaster recovery requires and enables otherwise-unthinkable haste. Matthew Thompson, New York Times, 10 Nov. 2022 Another former Apple employee, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, managed a team of app reviewers and says the division incentivized haste. WIRED, 24 Oct. 2022 The confidence in Truss has been waning on the back of haste policy-making and subsequent U-turns. Quartz, 22 Oct. 2022 Unfortunately, from early on, there were errors that accompanied haste, colleagues said. BostonGlobe.com, 7 Sep. 2022 Click, of course, was hired in haste after Crane fired GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch in the wake of the 2017 Astros’ cheating scandal. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 11 Nov. 2022 More likely is that monetization will be done in haste and without addressing the issues raised by one of the company’s internal teams sensitive to the complexities of adult content and moderation. Olivia Snow, WIRED, 7 Nov. 2022 In the meantime, trucks continue to pass back and forth across the Zambezi River, with greater haste and ease than ever before. Gertrude Kitongo, CNN, 17 Aug. 2022
Should this pocket-size French import be legal to park in your driveway, make all haste to bid. Brendan Mcaleer, Car and Driver, 17 Nov. 2022 But haste and carelessness in crafting the aid created a wellspring for fraud and waste - a mess that hundreds of federal investigators are still trying to clean up. Lisa Rein And Yeganeh Torbati, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Aug. 2022 Amanda, who went placidly amid the noise and haste up until that point, freaks out and throws a glass at Hannah. Brian Moylan, Vulture, 25 Feb. 2021 These Green New Deals and Green Revolutions are increasingly being seen as the only solution to meeting the climate, corona and credit crises at the scale and haste that science and justice require. Sophie Shnapp, refinery29.com, 5 Jan. 2021 If steady, mature Gerald Ford succumbed to haste when his presidency was on the line, imagine what Donald Trump will do. Rick Perlstein, Star Tribune, 3 Sep. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'haste.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English hǣst violence

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of haste was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near haste

Cite this Entry

“Haste.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/haste. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: rapidity of motion or action
: reckless action
: eagerness to act that is not proper or suitable


2 of 2 verb
hasted; hasting
: hasten

More from Merriam-Webster on haste

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.