[adjective kraws-kuhn-tree, kros-; noun kraws-kuhn-tree, -kuhn-, kros-]


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-coun·tries.

a cross-country sport or race.

Origin of cross-country

First recorded in 1760–70 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cross-country

Contemporary Examples of cross-country

Historical Examples of cross-country

  • Then followed what might be called an apprenticeship to cross-country flying.

    Learning to Fly

    Claude Grahame-White

  • They put Calhoun behind them, and Hart led them cross-country.

    Ride Proud, Rebel!

    Andre Alice Norton

  • Ever present in his mind are the three great 'cross-country queries.

  • The Hon. Alan Boyle makes the first cross-country trip, 1910.

  • Cross-country work he did not attempt; his machine at that time was ill-fitted for it.

British Dictionary definitions for cross-country


adjective, adverb

by way of fields, woods, etc, as opposed to roadscross-country running
across a countrya 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

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