cross-country skiing

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the sport of skiing across the countryside, often through woods and usually on relatively flat terrain, using narrow skis with boots that can be raised off the ski at the heel when striding.
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Also called ski touring.

OTHER WORDS FROM cross-country skiing

cross-country skier, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is cross-country skiing?

Cross-country skiing is skiing that takes place on relatively flat terrain, as opposed to being completely downhill (as is the case in what’s called downhill skiing).

In cross-country skiing, skiers use poles to help propel them forward. The skis used in cross-country skiing differ from those used in downhill skiing in shape, size, and structure. Notably, the boots used in cross-country skis can lift at the heel to allow for striding, in contrast to skis used for downhill skiing, in which the boot is fully attached.

There are several different types of cross-country skiing competitions, including sprints and longer distance races, such as the one known as Skiathlon. In some events, all racers begin at the same time, while others feature staggered starts. There are individual, team, and relay events.

Competitive cross-country skiing events are featured at the Winter Olympics and the Paralympic Winter Games. Cross-country skiing is an element of the event known as the biathlon.

Cross-country skiing is classified as a type of Nordic skiing (which also includes ski jumping), in contrast with Alpine skiing, which is more generally called downhill skiing and includes events such as the downhill and the slalom.

Much less commonly, cross-country skiing is called ski touring.

Example: Cross-country skiing is a great way to exercise and experience the winter landscape at the same time.

Where does cross-country skiing come from?

The term cross-country is used in the context of athletic races—including running and skiing—to indicate that the race is held over open terrain, such as through fields and woods, as opposed to being held on a track or other artificial surface. Cross-country has been used in the context of skiing since at least the early 1900s.

The sport of cross-country skiing has its roots in the practical use of skis for travel and transport, particularly in Scandinavian hunting culture.

Cross-country skiing has been a part of the Winter Olympics since the first Winter Games in 1924.

Over time, different cross-country skiing techniques have been developed. In more traditional styles, skiers glide while keeping their skis parallel. A more modern style involves alternating strides.

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What are some other forms related to cross-country skiing?

  • cross-country skier (noun)
  • cross-country ski (noun, verb)

What are some synonyms for cross-country skiing?

What are some words that share a root or word element with cross-country skiing

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How is cross-country skiing used in real life?

Cross-country skiing is both a competitive sport and a form of recreation. The term skiing by itself is most commonly understood as referring to downhill skiing, hence the use of cross-country in the name.



Try using cross-country skiing!

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Cross-country skiing is classified as a type of Nordic skiing.

How to use cross-country skiing in a sentence