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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- (to run) (compare Latin currō (I run), Tocharian A/B kursär/kwärsar (league; course)). 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?
    • 1762, Charles Johnstone, The Reverie; or, A Flight to the Paradise of Fools[1], volume 2, Dublin: Printed by Dillon Chamberlaine, OCLC 519072825, page 202:
      At length, one night, when the company by ſome accident broke up much ſooner than ordinary, ſo that the candles were not half burnt out, ſhe was not able to reſiſt the temptation, but reſolved to have them ſome way or other. Accordingly, as ſoon as the hurry was over, and the ſervants, as ſhe thought, all gone to ſleep, ſhe ſtole out of her bed, and went down ſtairs, naked to her ſhift as ſhe was, with a deſign to ſteal them []
  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.
  4. (music) A tremolando passage for violins, etc., accompanying an exciting situation.

Derived termsEdit



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

  1. (intransitive) To do things quickly.
    He's hurrying because he's late.
    • 1915, G[eorge] A. Birmingham [pseudonym; James Owen Hannay], chapter I, in Gossamer, New York, N.Y.: George H. Doran Company, OCLC 5661828:
      There is an hour or two, after the passengers have embarked, which is disquieting and fussy. [] Stewards, carrying cabin trunks, swarm in the corridors. Passengers wander restlessly about or hurry, with futile energy, from place to place.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in The China Governess[2]:
      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.
  2. (intransitive) Often with up, to speed up the rate of doing something.
    If you don't hurry (up) 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.
  5. (transitive) To impel to precipitate or thoughtless action; to urge to confused or irregular activity.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616)
      And wild amazement hurries up and down / The little number of your doubtful friends.



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit