Definition of steeplechase in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈstiːp(ə)ltʃeɪs/


1A horse race run on a racecourse having ditches and hedges as jumps: the horse had all the attributes to win her the greatest steeplechase in the calendar [mass noun]: the breed is used for flat racing as opposed to harness racing or steeplechase [as modifier]: steeplechase champion
More example sentences
  • Do you have information on what these measures look like in horses that have been racing, race horses, or steeplechases?
  • His victories include two wins over jumps in a brief steeplechase career that spanned five races, four in 1995 and one in 1998.
  • Opening the 137th Saratoga Race Course season with a steeplechase race resulted in three jockeys being unseated from their mounts and two of those riders suffering broken bones.
1.1A running race in which runners must clear hurdles and water jumps: he will run his first international steeplechase in America
More example sentences
  • The world's best time is more than 50 sec lower, but these times were an important breakthrough, having begun her career as a middle-distance runner before the gradual arrival of the steeplechase provided a greater incentive.
  • This is a Tour de France type of drug, this is endurance marathoners, 3,000 metres steeplechase runners type of drug.
  • Two were gold medals, with one in the 5000m in 15 min 20 sec and the 10,000m in 32 min 44 sec, a silver in the steeplechase in 9.37 and a bronze medal in the half marathon.



Example sentences
  • Before the 1960s, Ireland had earned a reputation for stallions which produced fine hurdlers and steeplechasers, but not many Flat champions.
  • The special obstacles are more like mini-fences than traditional timber hurdles and are designed to educate the young steeplechasers of the future.
  • By the day of the race we can expect a very small field but that won't matter a jot as racing fans turn up to see one of the finest steeplechasers of all time in action at his local track.


Pronunciation: /ˈstiːp(ə)ltʃeɪsɪŋ/
Example sentences
  • The sport of steeplechasing was originated by hunting men who raced their hunters over natural country from ‘point to point’ or from one steeple to the next.
  • Amongst his rivals is the great enigma of Irish steeplechasing, Florida Pearl.
  • The return to steeplechasing of last year's Grand National hero Bindaree is the main talking point of the race.


Late 18th century: from steeple (because originally a steeple marked the finishing point across country) + chase1.

  • A steeplechase was originally a horse race across country over hedges, walls, and ditches. The term dates from the late 18th century and comes from the idea of using a distant church steeple to mark the finishing point of the race, which you have to reach by clearing any intervening obstacles. Steeple comes from the same root as the adjective steep (both Old English).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: steeple|chase

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