Grand Prix

[ French grahn-pree ]
/ French grɑ̃ ˈpri /
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noun, plural Grand Prix, Grands Prix, Grand Prixes [all pronounced French grahn-preez]. /all pronounced French grɑ̃ ˈpriz/.
(sometimes lowercase) any of various major automobile races over a long, arduous course, especially an international car race held each year over the same course.
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Origin of Grand Prix

1905–10; <French: grand prize
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is the Grand Prix?

A Grand Prix is an automobile race over a long, hard course. Grand Prix is often used as a title for Formula One (F1) races.

In Formula One, a Grand Prix is an annual series of races to determine an F1 champion. Races take place in different countries, with individual races named after the country it takes place in, such as the Australian Grand Prix and the French Grand Prix. The Monaco Grand Prix is the most prestigious of the events.

In horse racing, a Grand Prix is an annual horse-jumping contest that takes place in Paris, France. It’s full name is Grand Prix de Paris and is limited to three-year-old horses.

When is the Grand Prix?

The Monaco Grand Prix is held in late May or early June. Other popular races include the British Grand Prix, which is held in July, the Belgian Grand Prix, held in late August or early September, and the Italian Grand Prix, held in September.

More information and context on the Grand Prix

Grand prix means “grand prize” in French, and any race can have a grand prix. In such cases, grand prix would not be capitalized unless the term is used in the title of the event. Initially, the term was reserved for each country’s largest or most prestigious F1 race, in which the winner would receive a “grand prize.” After the sport caught on around the world, the sport of Grand Prix racing would lend its name to all auto competitions raced on an open track styled like a real road.

In powerboating, a sport also organized by Formula One, only one race is referred to as the Grand Prix. It is a team race in which boats earn points by racing at high speeds over cities’ and towns’ natural rivers or lakes. In the game of snooker, a championship match that places the top 32 players in the world against each other is called the World Grand Prix. Taking inspiration from Formula One, there are also several stock car and NASCAR races that use the term Grand Prix, meaning the competitions are raced on open circuits or tracks that resemble real road conditions.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing the Grand Prix?

How is the Grand Prix discussed in real life?

Grand Prix most often refers to F1 races, but it can be used for a number of different races with a grand prize.


Try using Grand Prix!

True or False?

All Grand Prix are auto races.

How to use Grand Prix in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Grand Prix

Grand Prix
/ (French ɡrɑ̃ pri) /

  1. any of a series of formula motor races held to determine the annual Drivers' World Championship
  2. (as modifier)a Grand Prix car
horse racing a race for three-year-old horses run at Maisons Lafitte near Paris
a very important competitive event in various other sports, such as athletics, snooker, or powerboating

Word Origin for Grand Prix

French: great prize
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