Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Expedite

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is expedite. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

To expedite something is to speed up its process or progress. Expedite can also mean “to carry out promptly.”

// To expedite the processing of your request, please include your account number on all documents.

EXPEDITE in Context

“Builders have been accused of using cheap materials and skirting building codes to expedite projects and fatten profits—erecting structures that could not survive quakes.” — Nimet Kirac, The New York Times, 17 Feb. 2023

Did You Know?

Need someone to do something in a hurry? You can tell that person to step on it—or you can tell them expedite it. Figurative feet are involved in both cases, though less obviously in the second choice. Expedite comes from the Latin verb expedire, meaning “to free from entanglement” or “to release (a person) especially from a confined position.” The feet come in at that word’s root: it traces back to Latin ped- or pes, meaning “foot.” Expedient and expedition also stepped into English by way of expedire.

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