c. 1600, "commotion, agitation," probably from hurry (v.). Meaning "undue haste" is from 1690s. In a hurry "in haste, under pressure" is from 1700.
1590s, transitive and intransitive, first recorded in Shakespeare, who used it often; perhaps a variant of harry (v.), or perhaps a West Midlands sense of Middle English hurren "to vibrate rapidly, buzz" (of insects), from Proto-Germanic *hurza "to move with haste" (source also of Middle High German hurren "to whir, move fast," Old Swedish hurra "to whirl round"), which also perhaps is the root of hurl (v.). To hurry up "make haste" is from 1890. Related: hurried; hurrying.
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