Lickety-split Definition

At great speed.
Webster's New World

Quickly; as fast as possible; in short order.

At the sound of the starting gun, they were off and running lickety-split.

Origin of Lickety-split

  • First attested about 1860, in the US, as a fanciful alteration of lick and the verb split. lick appears to have something to do with animals made to go faster by means of a "lick" of a whip, although it may have also originated due to a preference for rapid licking (the "quick lick").

    From Wiktionary

  • lickety very fast alteration of lick fast (dialectal) split

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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