- a portable barrier over which contestants must leap in certain running races, usually a wooden frame with a hinged inner frame that swings down under impact to prevent injury to a runner who does not clear it.
- hurdles, (used with a singular verb) a race in which contestants must leap over a number of such barriers placed at specific intervals around the track.Compare high hurdles, low hurdles.
- any of various vertical barriers, as a hedge, low wall, or section of fence, over which horses must jump in certain types of turf races, as a steeplechase, but especially an artificial barrier.
- a difficult problem to be overcome; obstacle.
- Chiefly British. a movable rectangular frame of interlaced twigs, crossed bars, or the like, as for a temporary fence.
- a frame or sled on which criminals, especially traitors, were formerly drawn to the place of execution.
- to leap over (a hurdle, barrier, fence, etc.), as in a race.
- to master (a difficulty, problem, etc.); overcome.
- to construct with hurdles; enclose with hurdles.
- to leap over a hurdle or other barrier.
Origin of hurdle
Examples from the Web for hurdle
Once I got over that hurdle, it was as if a huge weight had lifted and I was not scared anymore.Inside A Finishing School for Transwomen
December 27, 2014
In the meantime, just as the bill passed its first hurdle, snow flakes started to fall down on the Capitol.Quirky Reindeer Farmer Keeps Government Open for Christmas
December 11, 2014
As the recruitment process begins, the question of motivation could also prove to be a hurdle.U.S. Hasn’t Even Started Training Rebel Army to Fight ISIS
November 25, 2014
If the two companies can overcome that hurdle, they must then clear three others to secure the exemption they seek.Why Is the Future of Birth Control In the Hands of the Supreme Court?
Stuart Taylor, Jr.
March 20, 2014
Still, assuming Kasich survives his 2014 reelection race, he easily clears the hurdle of having gotten stuff done.The Governors Who Could Beat Christie
November 8, 2013
No such thing as a good handicap, nor a hurdle race for a finish, without you.Sir Jasper Carew
Charles James Lever
Fanny, also, nearly did for Harry Nesbitt, by riding a hurdle race.Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2)
He is at home in polo or hurdle racing, with the rifle or revolver.As A Chinaman Saw Us
On the 16th his body was drawn and quartered and dragged through London on a hurdle.Highways & Byways in Sussex
A race meeting, which included a hurdle race, was being held.Reminiscences of Queensland
William Henry Corfield
- athleticsone of a number of light barriers over which runners leap in certain events
- a low barrier used in certain horse races
- an obstacle to be overcome
- a light framework of interlaced osiers, wattle, etc, used as a temporary fence
- British a sledge on which criminals were dragged to their executions
- to jump (a hurdle, etc), as in racing
- (tr) to surround with hurdles
- (tr) to overcome
Word Origin and History for hurdle
Old English hyrdel "frame of intertwined twigs used as a temporary barrier," diminutive of hyrd "door," from Proto-Germanic *hurdiz "wickerwork frame, hurdle" (cf. Old Saxon hurth "plaiting, netting," Dutch horde "wickerwork," German Hürde "hurdle, fold, pen;" Old Norse hurð, Gothic haurds "door"), from PIE *krtis (cf. Latin cratis "hurdle, wickerwork," Greek kartalos "a kind of basket," kyrtos "fishing creel"), from root *kert- "to weave, twist together" (cf. Sanskrit krt "to spin"). Sense of "barrier to jump in a race" is by 1822; figurative sense of "obstacle" is 1924.
1590s, "to build like a hurdle," from hurdle (n.). Sense of "to jump over" dates from 1880 (implied in hurdling). Related: Hurdled; hurdling. Hurdles as a type of race (originally horse race) with hurdles as obstacles is attested by 1836 (hurdle-race is from 1822).