1. Alive; living; animate; opposed to dead or inanimate. Not fully quyke, ne fully dead they were. (Chaucer) The lord Jesus christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom. (2 Tim. Iv. 1) Man is no star, but a quick coal Of mortal fire. (herbert)
(Science: botany) A vein of ore which is productive, not barren. Quick vinegar, vinegar made by allowing a weak solution of alcohol to trickle slowly over shavings or other porous material. Quick water, quicksilver water. Quick with child, pregnant with a living child.
Origin: As. Cwic, cwicu, cwucu, cucu, living; akin to OS. Quik, D. Kwik, OHG. Quec, chec, G. Keck bold, lively, Icel. Kvikr living, Goth. Qius, Lith. Q<ymac/vas, Russ. Zhivoi, L. Vivus living, vivere to live, Gr. Bios life, Skr. Jiva living, jiv to live. Cf. Biography, Vivid, Quitch grass, Whitlow.
2. The life; the mortal point; a vital part; a part susceptible of serious injury or keen feeling; the sensitive living flesh; the part of a finger or toe to which the nail is attached; the tender emotions; as, to cut a finger nail to the quick; to thrust a sword to the quick, to taunt one to the quick; used figuratively. This test nippeth, . . . This toucheth the quick. (Latimer) How feebly and unlike themselves they reason when they come to the quick of the difference ! (Fuller)
3. (Science: botany) quitch grass.