American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Sports A horserace across open country or over an obstacle course.
- n. Sports A footrace of usually 3,000 meters over a closed track with four hurdles and a water obstacle.
- n. A course of action containing many obstacles.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A horse-race across a tract of country in which ditches, hedges, and other obstacles must be jumped as they come in the way. The name is supposed to be originally due to any conspicuous object, such as a church-steeple, having been chosen as a goal, toward which those taking part in the race were allowed to take any course they chose. The limits of the steeplechase-course are now marked out by flags.
- n. In billiards, primarily, an exhibition stroke in which the cue-ball is lifted from the table and made to jump, the cue having first been laid flat upon the table. It can be fair, but is liable to be foul (a push), and on Nov. 28, 1905, the English Billiard Association, called upon to rule it out of regular billiards, enacted equivocally that, “properly made, it is fair.” It is neither recognized nor needed in American billiards.
- n. chiefly UK A horse race, either across open country, or over an obstacle course
- n. An athletics event in which the runners have to run 3000 metres round a track, jumping hurdles and a water obstacle along
- n. a horse race over an obstructed course
- n. a footrace of usually 3000 meters over a closed track with hurdles and a water jump
- From the use of church steeples as landmarks. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Barringer was the 2006 and 2008 NCAA champion in steeplechase while at University of Colo.”
“And the others, like the junior boys of a school when the steeplechase is being run, crowded around the Head Master, watching the heroes come home.”
“Famiglietti was the 2008 Olympic trials champion in steeplechase.”
“The steeplechase is a distance race that uses five barriers, including one water jump, around”
“Until this summer, Neale was not allowed to run the steeplechase, which is not sanctioned in high school.”
“And the steeplechase could be a future "wild card" for Hall.”
“The 'steeplechase' course, 'avec huit obstacles', was delightful: the hurdles were not sufficiently high to puzzle and intelligent and active poodle; the ditches were like the trenches in a celery bed; and the wall about two and a half feet high.”
“This morning I saw two squirrels roaring around in a kind of steeplechase through four backyards, chattering furiously the whole way.”
“The Brighton dealer had ten Fords driven over the South Downs for two days in a kind of steeplechase and every one of them came through.”
“For a mile and a half from the farm the road, or, rather, cart-track, may be described as a kind of steeplechase on wheels, every step of the way showing either a stone - heap or a ditch, the word 'rut' being quite an inadequate definition.”
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