verb (used without object), hur·tled, hur·tling.

to rush violently; move with great speed: The car hurtled down the highway.
to move or go noisily or resoundingly, as with violent or rapid motion: The sound was deafening, as tons of snow hurtled down the mountain.
Archaic. to strike together or against something; collide.

verb (used with object), hur·tled, hur·tling.

to drive violently; fling; dash.
Archaic. to dash against; collide with.


Archaic. clash; collision; shock; clatter.

Origin of hurtle

1175–1225; Middle English hurtle, equivalent to hurt(en) (see hurt) + -le -le
Can be confusedhurdle hurl hurtle

Synonyms for hurtle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for hurtling

lunge, scoot, collide, shoot, fly, rush, bump, tear, race, push, spurt, speed, scramble

Examples from the Web for hurtling

Contemporary Examples of hurtling

Historical Examples of hurtling

  • The sky above the Vulcan was filled with the drone of hurtling shells.

  • Something sped along this track with a hurtling rush and roar.

    A Stable for Nightmares

    J. Sheridan Le Fanu

  • Far above, an object was hissing and hurtling through the air.

    The Rifle Rangers

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • He took her again through the hurtling welter of the cattle-market.

    The Rainbow

    D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

  • A hurtling mass of men struggled confusedly from their seats.

British Dictionary definitions for hurtling



to project or be projected very quickly, noisily, or violently
(intr) rare to collide or crash

Word Origin for hurtle

C13 hurtlen, from hurten to strike; see hurt 1
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 hurtling



early 14c., hurteln, "to crash together; to crash down, knock down," probably frequentative of hurten (see hurt (v.)) in its original sense. Intransitive meaning "to rush, dash, charge" is late 14c. The essential notion in hurtle is that of forcible collision, in hurl that of forcible projection. Related: Hurtled; hurtling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper