From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Quicken \Quick"en\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. quickened; p. pr. &
   vb. n. Quickening.] [AS. cwician. See Quick, a.]
   1. To make alive; to vivify; to revive or resuscitate, as
      from death or an inanimate state; hence, to excite; to,
      stimulate; to incite.
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            The mistress which I serve quickens what's dead.
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            Like a fruitful garden without an hedge, that
            quickens the appetite to enjoy so tempting a prize.
                                                  -- South.
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   2. To make lively, active, or sprightly; to impart additional
      energy to; to stimulate; to make quick or rapid; to
      hasten; to accelerate; as, to quicken one's steps or
      thoughts; to quicken one's departure or speed.
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   3. (Shipbuilding) To shorten the radius of (a curve); to make
      (a curve) sharper; as, to quicken the sheer, that is, to
      make its curve more pronounced.
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   Syn: To revive; resuscitate; animate; reinvigorate; vivify;
        refresh; stimulate; sharpen; incite; hasten; accelerate;
        expedite; dispatch; speed.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Quickening \Quick"en*ing\, n.
   1. The act or process of making or of becoming quick.
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   2. (Physiol.) The first motion of the fetus in the womb felt
      by the mother, occurring usually about the middle of the
      term of pregnancy. It has been popularly supposed to be
      due to the fetus becoming possessed of independent life.
      [1913 Webster]
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