|Photo by Mike Baird|
Noun. Late 15th century.
[Old & modern French célérité from Latin celeritas, from celer swift.]
1 Swiftness, speed. (Now chiefly of the action of living being.) L15
2 obsolete. A particular speed. M-L18
Celerity is a reasonably well-known literary word to describe swiftness of motion and even thought, and although none of the main dictionaries suggest that it also carries a sense of grace and effortlessness, the sweepingly smooth syllables of celerity always suggest exactly that to me. To illustrate such graceful speed, I've chosen a photograph of a Peregrine Falcon, which is not only the fastest bird on the planet, but indeed the fastest animal, with a breathtakingly celeritous diving speed of over 300 kilometres per hour.
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