verb, intransitive. To compete with another or others to see who is fastest at covering a set course or achieving an objective. To compete regularly in races as a sport or leisure activity. To move or progress swiftly or at full speed. Of an engine or other machinery: to operate at excessive speed. Of a person's heart or pulse: to beat faster than normal because of fear or excitement.
verb, transitive. To cause to move, progress, or operate swiftly or at excessive speed. Also a noun.
The day had been bad enough, she thought, but now, it had become worse. The only good thing was that her car had broken down within sight of a repair shop. She grumbled internally as she walked the quarter-mile to Bill's Garage, noting that even its exterior looked dingy and grease-stained.
Inside, one man in coveralls stooped beneath a vehicle's hood, racing its engine. His head turned toward her as she entered the bay door, blocking the light from outside. As she approached, she could tell his eyes were unfocused. He was listening to the motor. She stopped near him and waited. If he took his time acknowledging her presence, that would mean he was a good mechanic, albeit rude.
After nearly a full minute, she gauged, he stopped stimulating the engine and straightened a few degrees as his gaze focused on her.
She explained her problem. He nodded once, stepped to the car's driver's window, reached in and removed its key.
"I'll come take a look," he said, "but it's gonna cost ya."
Of course it would, and what choice did she have? She was surprised when he hefted a toolbox into the bed of a tow truck outside, then opened its passenger door and indicated that she should climb in. Things were looking up.
Definitions adapted from The New Oxford American Dictionary, Oxford University Press, Inc., 2005 (eBook Edition, copyright 2008), and from Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam Company, Publishers, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, 1965, depending on which is more convenient to hand.