1813, "of or pertaining to the raising of plants or animals," from Latin cultura "tillage, a cultivating, agriculture," figuratively "care, culture, an honoring," from past participle stem of colere "to tend, guard; to till, cultivate" (see colony). With -al (1). Figurative senses of "relating to civilizations," also "the cultivation of the mind," are attested by 1875; hence, "relating to the culture of a particular place at a particular time" (by 1909).
Cultural anthropology is attested by 1910, and cultural has been a fertile starter-word among anthropologists and sociologists, for example cultural diffusion, in use by 1912; cultural diversity, by 1935; cultural imperialism, by 1937; cultural pluralism, by 1932; cultural relativism, by 1948. China's Cultural Revolution (1966) began in 1965; the name is a shortened translation of Chinese Wuchan Jieji Wenhua Da Geming "Proletarian Cultural Great Revolution."
Middle English quik, from Old English cwic "living, alive, animate, characterized by the presence of life" (now archaic), and figuratively, of mental qualities, "rapid, ready," from Proto-Germanic *kwikwaz (source also of Old Saxon and Old Frisian quik, Old Norse kvikr "living, alive," Dutch kwik "lively, bright, sprightly," Old High German quec "lively," German keck "bold"), from PIE root *gwei- "to live." Sense of "lively, active, swift, speedy, hasty," developed by c. 1300, on notion of "full of life."
NE swift or the now more common fast may apply to rapid motion of any duration, while in quick (in accordance with its original sense of 'live, lively') there is a notion of 'sudden' or 'soon over.' We speak of a fast horse or runner in a race, a quick starter but not a quick horse. A somewhat similar feeling may distinguish NHG schnell and rasch or it may be more a matter of local preference. [Carl Darling Buck, "A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages," 1949]
Of persons, "mentally active, prompt to perceive or respond to impressions" from late 15c. Of an action, process, etc., "done in little time," 1540s. Also in Middle English used of soft soils, gravel pits, etc. where the ground is shifting and yielding (mid-14c., compare quicksand). Also in Middle English "with child, in an advanced state of pregnancy" (when the woman can feel the child move within). Also formerly of bright flowers or colors (c. 1200).
As an adverb, "quickly, in a quick manner," from c. 1300. To be quick about something is from 1937. Quick buck is from 1946, American English. Quick-change artist (1886) originally was an actor expert in playing different roles in the same performance of a show. Quick-witted is from 1520s.