lightning fast


lightning fast,
also, lightning quick


  • extremely quick
  • something that is or moves very fast
  • to describe something that has a rapid speed
  • something that happens at lightning speed 

Example Sentences

  1. At recess, the boys and girls run lightning fast.
  2. This weekend I have an upcoming race and I will run lightning-fast to win the race.
  3. Items at the store are selling off the shelves lightning fast due to being on sale.
  4. The rain poured down lightning-fast.
  5. Once the hot cookies were out of the stove, the family ate them lightning fast.
  6. Before the police could arrive, the robbers had robbed the bank lightning fast.
  7. She’s not just famed for her writing brilliance but also for her lightning-quick typing skills.


This idiom traces back to the early 17th century. The etymology of this idiom can be found in text written as early as 1676. This common phrase gets its name from lightning. Lightning in the sky moves very quickly. Sometimes it moves so fast a person can barely see it. When a person uses this phrase they are describing something that can move fast. 

This centuries-old idiom grew in popularity when people began to discover more about the weather. As electricity was discovered, this idiom grew even more. Now today this idiom is a familiar phrase that is used frequently.

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