Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A local geographic or global human population distinguished as a more or less distinct group by genetically transmitted physical characteristics.
  • n. A group of people united or classified together on the basis of common history, nationality, or geographic distribution: the German race.
  • n. A genealogical line; a lineage.
  • n. Humans considered as a group.
  • n. Biology An interbreeding, usually geographically isolated population of organisms differing from other populations of the same species in the frequency of hereditary traits. A race that has been given formal taxonomic recognition is known as a subspecies.
  • n. Biology A breed or strain, as of domestic animals.
  • n. A distinguishing or characteristic quality, such as the flavor of a wine.
  • n. Sports A competition of speed, as in running or riding.
  • n. Sports A series of such competitions held at a specified time on a regular course: a fan of the dog races.
  • n. An extended competition in which participants struggle like runners to be the winner: the presidential race.
  • n. Steady or rapid onward movement: the race of time.
  • n. A strong or swift current of water.
  • n. The channel of such a current.
  • n. An artificial channel built to transport water and use its energy. Also called raceway.
  • n. A groovelike part of a machine in which a moving part slides or rolls.
  • n. See slipstream.
  • intransitive v. Sports To compete in a contest of speed.
  • intransitive v. To move rapidly or at top speed: We raced home. My heart was racing with fear.
  • intransitive v. To run too rapidly due to decreased resistance or unnecessary provision of fuel: adjusted the idle to keep the engine from racing.
  • transitive v. Sports To compete against in a race.
  • transitive v. Sports To cause to compete in a race: She races horses for a living.
  • transitive v. To transport rapidly or at top speed; rush: raced the injured motorist to the hospital.
  • transitive v. To cause (an engine with the gears disengaged, for example) to run swiftly or too swiftly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A contest between people, animals, vehicles, etc. where the goal is to be the first to reach some objective. Several horses run in a horse race, and the first one to reach the finishing post wins
  • n. A progressive movement toward a goal.
  • n. A fast moving current of water.
  • n. Travels, runs, or journeys.
  • n. The bushings of a rolling element bearing which contacts the rolling elements.
  • v. To take part in a race (in the sense of a contest).
  • v. To compete against in such a race.
  • v. To move or drive at high speed.
  • v. Of a motor, to run rapidly when not engaged to a transmission.
  • n. A group of sentient beings, particularly people, distinguished by common heritage or characteristics:
  • n. A population geographically separated from others of its species that develops significantly different characteristics; an informal term for a subspecies.
  • n. A breed or strain of domesticated animal.
  • n. A category or species of something that has emerged or evolved from an older one (with an implied parallel to animal breeding or evolutionary science).
  • n. A rhizome or root, especially of ginger.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A root.
  • n. The descendants of a common ancestor; a family, tribe, people, or nation, believed or presumed to belong to the same stock; a lineage; a breed.
  • n. Company; herd; breed.
  • n. A variety of such fixed character that it may be propagated by seed.
  • n. Peculiar flavor, taste, or strength, as of wine; that quality, or assemblage of qualities, which indicates origin or kind, as in wine; hence, characteristic flavor; smack.
  • n. Hence, characteristic quality or disposition.
  • n. A progress; a course; a movement or progression.
  • n. Esp., swift progress; rapid course; a running.
  • n. Hence: The act or process of running in competition; a contest of speed in any way, as in running, riding, driving, skating, rowing, sailing; in the plural, usually, a meeting for contests in the running of horses.
  • n. Competitive action of any kind, especially when prolonged; hence, career; course of life.
  • n. A strong or rapid current of water, or the channel or passage for such a current; a powerful current or heavy sea, sometimes produced by the meeting of two tides
  • n. The current of water that turns a water wheel, or the channel in which it flows; a mill race.
  • n. A channel or guide along which a shuttle is driven back and forth, as in a loom, sewing machine, etc.
  • intransitive v. To run swiftly; to contend in a race
  • intransitive v. To run too fast at times, as a marine engine or screw, when the screw is lifted out of water by the action of a heavy sea.
  • transitive v. To raze.
  • transitive v. To cause to contend in a race; to drive at high speed.
  • transitive v. To run a race with.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To run swiftly; run in, or as if engaged in, a contest of speed.
  • To run with uncontrolled speed; go or revolve wildly or with improper acceleration: said of a steam-engine, a wheel, a ship's screw, or the like, when resistance is diminished without corresponding diminution of power.
  • To practise horse-racing as an occupation; be engaged in the business of running horses.
  • To cause to run or move swiftly, push or drive onward in, or as if in, a trial of speed: as, to race a horse; to race steamers.
  • To run, or cause horses, etc., to run, in competition with; contend against in a race.
  • n. A genealogical line or stock; a class of persons allied by descent from a common ancestry; lineage; family; kindred: as, the Levites were a race of priests; to be of royal or of ignoble race.
  • n. An ethnical stock; a great division of mankind having in common certain distinguishing physical peculiarities, and thus a comprehensive class appearing to be derived from a distinct primitive source: as, the Caucasian race; the Mongolian race; the Negro race. See man, 1.
  • n. A tribal or national stock; a division or subdivision of one of the great racial stocks of mankind, distinguished by minor peculiarities: as, the Celtic race; the Finnic race is a branch of the Mongolian; the English, French, and Spaniards are mixed races.
  • n. The human family; human beings as a class; mankind: a shortened form of human race: as, the future prospects of the race; the elevation of the race.
  • n. A breed, stock, or strain of domesticated animals or cultivated plants; an artificially propagated and perpetuated variety.
  • n. Specifically— In zoöl,. a geographical variety; a subspecies, characteristic of a given faunal area, intergrading with another form of the same species.
  • n. In botany:
  • n. A variety so fixed as to reproduce itself with considerable certainty by seed. Races may be of spontaneous origin or the result of artificial selection.
  • n. In a broader use, any variety, subspecies, species, or group of very similar species whose characters are continued through successive generations.
  • n. Any fixed class of beings more or less broadly differentiated from all others; any general aggregate of mankind or of animals considered as a class apart; a perpetuated or continuing line of like existences: as, the human race; the race of statesmen; the equine or the feline race.
  • n. A line or series; a course or succession: used of things.
  • n. A strong peculiarity by which the origin or species of anything may be recognized, as, especially, the flavor of wine.
  • n. Intrinsic character; natural quality or disposition; hence, spirit; vigor; pith; raciness.
  • n. Synonyms Tribe, Clan, etc. See people.
  • Of or pertaining to a race.
  • To tear up; snatch away hastily.
  • An obsolete form of rase, raze.
  • In heraldry, same as indented.
  • n. A rush; running; swift course.
  • n. A course which has to be run, passed over, or gone through; onward movement or progression; career.
  • n. A contest of speed; a competitive trial of speed, especially in running, but also in riding, driving, sailing, rowing, walking, or any mode of progression.
  • n. Course, as of events; progress.
  • n. Struggle; conflict; tumult; trouble.
  • n. Course; line of onward movement; way; route.
  • n. A strong or rapid current of water, or the channel or passage for such a current; a powerful current or heavy sea sometimes produced by the meeting of two tides: as, the Race of Alderney; Portland Race.
  • n. A canal or watercourse from a dam to a water-wheel: specifically called the head-race.
  • n. The watercourse which leads away the water after it leaves the wheel: specifically called the tail-race.
  • n. A root. See race-ginger, and hand, 13 .
  • n. A calcareous concretion in brick-earth.
  • n. The circnlar path traversed by a horse in driving a machine by a horse-whim; a gin-ring or gin-race.
  • n. In mech., an annular ring or groove in which the rollers of a roller-bearing, or the balls of a ball-bearing, travel; a ball-race; a roller-race. For a roller-bearing, the race is usually the frustum of a very flat cone, the rollers being frusta of the complementary cone.
  • n. A narrow passage, fenced with hurdles, for sheep; a lane.
  • n.
  • n. The heart, liver, and lungs or lights of an animal, especially of a calf: same as pluck, 4.
  • n. Same as rase.
  • n. A white splash or mark on the face of a horse or dog; a blaze.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. to work as fast as possible towards a goal, sometimes in competition with others
  • n. (biology) a taxonomic group that is a division of a species; usually arises as a consequence of geographical isolation within a species
  • n. a canal for a current of water
  • n. a contest of speed
  • v. cause to move fast or to rush or race
  • v. move fast
  • n. people who are believed to belong to the same genetic stock
  • v. compete in a race
  • n. any competition
  • n. the flow of air that is driven backwards by an aircraft propeller

Etymologies

French, from Old French, from Old Italian razza, race, lineage.
Middle English ras, from Old Norse rās, rush, running.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English, from Old Norse rás, akin to Old English rǣs, compare Danish ræs, Norwegian and Swedish ras. (Wiktionary)
From Middle French race, from Italian razza, of uncertain origin. (Wiktionary)
From Middle French, from Latin radix (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Polls suggest the six closest state races on election day will be in Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Nevada and Ohio.
    Mr Obama has warned against complacency and urged Democratic supporters to vote."
    - 'US rivals target knife-edge races', BBC website, 2 Nov 2008.

    November 3, 2008

  • "Of race but with taste!"

    ("of race" is supposed to mean "hurriedly")

    August 8, 2008