high jump

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noun Track.
a field event in which athletes, using a running start, compete in jumping for height over a crossbar supported by two upright poles.
a jump for height made in this event.
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Origin of high jump

First recorded in 1890–95

Other definitions for high jump (2 of 2)

[ hahy-juhmp ]
/ ˈhaɪˌdʒʌmp /

verb (used without object)
to participate in the high jump; compete as a high jumper.
verb (used with object)
to clear or attempt to clear (a specified height) in a high jump: a goal of high-jumping his own height.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is the high jump?

The high jump is a track-and-field competition in which athletes attempt to complete the highest jump over a crossbar. An attempt in this event (the jump itself) is also called a high jump.

In the high jump, a competitor (called a high jumper) must jump from one foot and must not cause the crossbar to fall—or else the attempt does not count. Each high jumper can opt to make the bar higher to complete a jump that’s higher than their competitors’ highest jump. They usually get three attempts to complete a jump.

There are different high jump techniques, but the most popular involves the high jumper running toward the bar, turning as they jump, leaping over the bar backward, and arching their back in a way that avoids hitting the bar.

High jump is a track-and-field event in the summer Olympic Games (the Summer Games) and it is also part of the modern decathlon.

The high jump should not be confused with the long jump, which is a track-and-field (and decathlon) event in which athletes attempt to jump as far as possible. The pole vault also involves clearing a cross bar at the highest possible height, but pole vaulters do this by vaulting themselves into the air with a pole.

Example: If she completes her next attempt, she will set a new world record in the high jump.

Where does high jump come from?

The first records of the term high jump as a name for the track-and-field event come from the late 1800s. The names of other track-and-field events use the word jump in the same way, including long jump and triple jump.

In the 1800s, high jump competitions gained popularity in Scotland with events like the Highland Games incorporating track-and-field events like it. From 1896 to 1912, there were two separate Olympic events known as the high jump. One involved athletes jumping from a standing position, and the other, called the running high jump, was the one that we now know as the high jump. In 1912, the standing version of the high jump was discontinued. In 1928, the Olympic high jump event was opened to female athletes.

The high jump has changed over time. Prior to the 1950s, athletes were allowed to wear shoes that added additional height. Before the 1960s, most high jumpers jumped over the crossbar vertically or head first, into a landing area that consisted of sand, dirt, or turf. Eventually, a cushioned landing area was introduced, and the backward leap technique became the dominant method. It is sometimes known as the Fosbury flop, after high jumper Dick Fosbury, who perfected the technique.

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How is high jump used in real life?

Most people are familiar with the high jump as a track-and-field event at the Summer Olympics.

Try using high jump!

True or False?

In the high jump, the high jumper is allowed to touch the bar as long as they don’t knock it down.

How to use high jump in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for high jump

high jump

  1. the high jump an athletic event in which a competitor has to jump over a high bar set between two vertical supports
  2. (as modifier)high-jump techniques
be for the high jump British informal to be liable to receive a severe reprimand or punishment

Derived forms of high jump

high jumper, nounhigh jumping, noun
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