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[adjective kraws-kuhn-tree, kros-; noun kraws-kuhn-tree, -kuhn-, kros-] /adjective ˈkrɔsˌkʌn tri, ˈkrɒs-; noun ˈkrɔsˈkʌn tri, -ˌkʌn-, ˈkrɒs-/
directed or proceeding over fields, through woods, etc., rather than on a road or path:
a cross-country race.
from one end of the country to the other:
a cross-country flight.
noun, plural cross-countries.
a cross-country sport or race.
Origin of cross-country
First recorded in 1760-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cross-country
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The following year saw Cody winning another Michelin prize for a cross-country competition.

    The Mastery of the Air William J. Claxton
  • Then followed what might be called an apprenticeship to cross-country flying.

    Learning to Fly Claude Grahame-White
  • Before he had specialized on the short distances Gordon had been a cross-country runner.

    The Yukon Trail William MacLeod Raine
  • They put Calhoun behind them, and Hart led them cross-country.

    Ride Proud, Rebel! Andre Alice Norton
  • It is that privilege, therefore, that makes it worth while to join the Motor Maids in their first cross-country run.

British Dictionary definitions for cross-country


adjective, adverb
by way of fields, woods, etc, as opposed to roads: cross-country running
across a country: a cross-country railway
a long race held over open ground
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cross-country

also cross country, crosscountry; 1767, of roads, from cross (v.) + country, or short for across-country. Of flights, from 1909.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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