hurdle

[hur-dl]

noun

verb (used with object), hur·dled, hur·dling.

verb (used without object), hur·dled, hur·dling.

to leap over a hurdle or other barrier.

Origin of hurdle

before 900; Middle English hirdel, hurdel (noun), Old English hyrdel, equivalent to hyrd- + -el noun suffix; compare German Hürde hurdle; akin to Latin crātis hurdle, wickerwork, Greek kýrtos basket, cage, Sanskrit kṛt spin
Related formshur·dler, nounun·hur·dled, adjective
Can be confusedhurdle hurl hurtle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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British Dictionary definitions for hurdle

hurdle

noun

  1. athleticsone of a number of light barriers over which runners leap in certain events
  2. 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

verb

to jump (a hurdle, etc), as in racing
(tr) to surround with hurdles
(tr) to overcome
Derived Formshurdler, noun

Word Origin for hurdle

Old English hyrdel; related to Gothic haurds door, Old Norse hurth door, Old High German hurd, Latin crātis, Greek kurtos basket
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 hurdle
n.

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.

v.

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper