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 (e.g., protons) to high speed in order to produce nuclear reactions in a target, often for the production of radionuclides or for radiation Therapy.

Synonym: accelerant.

Origin: L. Accelerans, pres. P. Of ac-celero, to hasten, fr. Celer, swift (chemistry) a substance that initiates or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected.

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