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Pronunciation: ak-sel′er-ā-ter


  1. Anything that increases rapidity of action or function.
  2. In physiology, a nerve, muscle, or substance that quickens movement or response.
  3. A catalytic agent used to hasten a chemical reaction.
  4. In nuclear physics, a device that accelerates charged particles (protons) to high speed to produce nuclear reactions in a target, for the study of subatomic structure, for the production of radionuclides, or for radiation therapy.

Synonym(s): accelerant

[L. accelerans, pres. p. of ac-celero, to hasten, fr. celer, swift]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.