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From Middle English horien (to rush, impel), probably a variation of Middle English hurren (to vibrate rapidly, buzz), from Proto-Germanic *hurzaną (to rush) (compare Middle High German hurren (to hasten), Norwegian hurre (to whirl around)), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱers-, *ḱors- (to run, hurry) (compare Welsh carrog (torrent), Latin currō (I run), Tocharian A/B kursär/kwärsar (league; course), Lithuanian karsiù (to go quickly)). Related to hurr, horse, rush.

Alternative etymology derives hurry as a variant of harry, which see.



hurry (countable and uncountable, plural hurries)

  1. Rushed action.
    Why are you in such a big hurry?
  2. Urgency.
    There is no hurry on that paperwork.
  3. (sports) In American football, an incidence of a defensive player forcing the quarterback to act faster than the quarterback was prepared to, resulting in a failed offensive play.

Derived terms[edit]



hurry (third-person singular simple present hurries, present participle hurrying, simple past and past participle hurried)

  1. (intransitive) To do things quickly.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, The China Governess[1]:
      When Timothy and Julia hurried up the staircase to the bedroom floor, where a considerable commotion was taking place, Tim took Barry Leach with him. He had him gripped firmly by the arm, since he felt it was not safe to let him loose, and he had no immediate idea what to do with him.
    He's hurrying because he's late.
  2. (intransitive) Often with up, to speed up the rate of doing something.
    If you don't hurry you won't finish on time.
  3. (transitive) To cause to be done quickly.
  4. (transitive) To hasten; to impel to greater speed; to urge on.
    • South
      Impetuous lust hurries him on.
    • Shakespeare
      They hurried him aboard a bark.
  5. (transitive) To impel to precipitate or thoughtless action; to urge to confused or irregular activity.
    • Shakespeare
      And wild amazement hurries up and down / The little number of your doubtful friends.



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