There are 3 main definitions of race in English:

race1

Syllabification: race
Pronunciation: /rās
 
/

noun

1A competition between runners, horses, vehicles, boats, etc., to see which is the fastest in covering a set course: I won the first 50-lap race
More example sentences
  • The final two races at Hawthorne Race Course on Wednesday were cancelled due to inclement weather conditions.
  • A mate of mine who's a jockey once won a race on a horse of the same name, interestingly enough.
  • In varsity and Olympic competition, races may involve boats with one, two, four, or eight rowers.
Synonyms
1.1 (the races) A series of races for horses or dogs, held at a fixed time on a set course.
More example sentences
  • The association fears the races will either have to be scaled down to an invitation race in September or cancelled completely for lack of funds.
  • It describes a lifetime, Mick's own lifetime, spent attending the races and punting on dogs and horses with varying degrees of success.
  • Our ten grand prize finalists and their guests were treated to a VIP day at the races, each excited by the fact that they were in with a one in ten chance of winning a sleek new car.
1.2 [in singular] A situation in which individuals or groups compete to be first to achieve a particular objective: the race for nuclear power
More example sentences
  • Back then, the moon race touched virtually every aspect of life.
  • Biotechnology investments are soaring worldwide, fuelling the race for patents.
  • On the 10th day before Christmas… the race for the Christmas number one record begins.
Synonyms
competition, rivalry, contention;
quest
1.3 archaic The course of the sun or moon through the heavens.
2A strong or rapid current flowing through a narrow channel in the sea or a river: angling for tuna in turbulent tidal races
More example sentences
  • It is this submerged reef that causes fierce surges of current in the tide races in the area.
  • The rescue proved timely, as the area is prone to large tidal races.
  • The Crew dropped anchor in the hope of keeping out of the tide race, which is very strong between the Isle of Eynhallow and Mainland.
Synonyms
3A groove, channel, or passage, in particular.
3.1A water channel, especially one built to lead water to or from a point where its energy is utilized, as in a mill or mine. See also millrace.
More example sentences
  • Still visible is the mill water race and base of the chimney.
  • Roads were formed and water races constructed for gold mining and the irrigation that would lead to the prosperity that would follow.
3.2A smooth, ring-shaped groove or guide in which a ball bearing or roller bearing runs.

verb

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1 [no object] Compete with another or others to see who is fastest at covering a set course or achieving an objective: the vet took blood samples from the horses before they raced [with object]: attorneys have to think twice before they race each other to the courthouse
More example sentences
  • The pair raced down the backstretch well clear of the rest of the field and turning into the stretch Tango for Tips put her nose in front.
  • Fantastic Light will be one of the leading contenders for the Classic although he has never previously raced on a dirt track.
  • Family and friends race each other and compete out on the water.
Synonyms
compete, contend;
run
1.1Compete regularly in races as a sport or leisure activity: the next year, he raced again for the team
More example sentences
  • Before the VSCC's seven-year absence from Oulton, the club raced there regularly for 50 years.
  • He is still racing regularly and has no plans to retire.
  • He also had raced at Mountaineer Race Track and at Thistledown, riding 19 total winners.
1.2 [with object] Prepare and enter (an animal or vehicle) in races as a sport or leisure activity: he raced his three horses simply for the fun of it
More example sentences
  • The event had a mixture of modern and classic cars and everything from Bentleys to Formula One vehicles were raced.
  • Martin began racing stock cars at 15 on dirt tracks near his home in Batesville, Ark.
  • Whether you would rather race touring cars around Brands Hatch or hop Baja Beetles over rough dirt tracks, the choice is yours.
2 [no object] Move or progress swiftly or at full speed: I raced into the house figurative she spoke automatically, while her mind raced ahead
More example sentences
  • His mind was racing, full of a complex mix of worry and hope.
  • Her mind raced, her eyes moving over the possible hiding places.
  • She was all jittery and her mind was racing ahead of her.
Synonyms
informal tear, take off, belt, pelt, scoot, hotfoot it, leg it, hightail it
2.1(Of a person’s heart or pulse) beat faster than usual because of fear or excitement.
More example sentences
  • Deep blue eyes stare at me, cold and hard, and my heart is racing with fear.
  • Steven's heard raced, of course someone would have mentioned this!
  • My heart is racing, from excitement and the first 2-mile climb.
Synonyms
pound, beat rapidly, throb, pulsate, thud, thump, hammer, palpitate, flutter, pitter-patter, go pit-a-pat, quiver, pump
2.2Operate or cause to operate at excessive speed: [with object]: she’d driven like a madwoman, racing the engine and swerving around corners
More example sentences
  • Kevin's Kurdish driver, Adnan, had raced his engine and clogged up the carburetor of his Nissan.
  • The driver simply races the engine, trying harder to get away.
  • While sitting on the bike and racing the engine, he felt the motorcycle accidentally slipping into gear.

Origin

late Old English, from Old Norse rás 'current'. It was originally a northern English word with the sense 'rapid forward movement', which gave rise to the senses 'contest of speed' (early 16th century) and 'channel, path' (i.e., the space traversed). The verb dates from the late 15th century.

Phrases

a race against time

A situation in which something must be done before a particular point in time: it was a race against time to reach shore before the dinghy sank
More example sentences
  • Insects have developed wings to help them find a mate and for mayflies the race to reproduce becomes a race against time.
  • Every year, after the snow melts in the mountainous regions on the border, there is a race against time to see which nation takes charge of the heights near the border.
  • For the students it has been a race against time.

a race to (or for) the bottom

A situation characterized by a progressive lowering or deterioration of standards, especially (in business contexts) as a result of the pressure of competition: unsustainable tendering practices had created a race to the bottom among contractors
More example sentences
  • The consumer has lost, because in the race for the bottom, the consumer has no real choices.
  • We can't really compete in the race for the bottom, without our workers losing a lot.
  • Merchants will end up competing with each other in a never-ending race to the bottom.

Definition of race in:

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There are 3 main definitions of race in English:

race2

Syllabification: race
Pronunciation: /rās
 
/

noun

1Each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics: people of all races, colors, and creeds
More example sentences
  • He stated that if the wide gap between the two major races continued to exist it could lead to serious threats to security and economic development.
  • Different races clearly have different physical characteristics, but the case for a generalised superiority of one race over the other is weak.
  • Jews represent a group of people rather than a distinct race or ethnicity.
1.1A group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group: we Scots were a bloodthirsty race then
More example sentences
  • They sought to weld the country's diverse ethnicities into a Brazilian race defined in historical and cultural terms.
  • We Scots might be handsome but, as a race, we're not renowned for our height.
  • We are trying to find out why the British as a race find it amazingly funny to take their clothes off.
Synonyms
people, nation
1.2The fact or condition of belonging to a racial division or group; the qualities or characteristics associated with this: people of mixed race
More example sentences
  • People of European origin, Asians, and people of mixed race enjoy the best standard of living.
  • He wishes to claim that in this society sex is a more fundamental fact about people than race.
  • People of mixed race are being excluded from society and face prejudice from both sides.
1.3A group or set of people or things with a common feature or features: some male firefighters still regarded women as a race apart
More example sentences
  • This sedentary behaviour is apparently turning our kids into a race of slothful fatties who risk a reduced lifespan and other problems.
  • They are not a race apart - it could happen to any one of us at any time.
  • As a matter of fact isn't ‘redneck’ a word used in disdain to describe a race and class of people?
1.4 Biology A population within a species that is distinct in some way, especially a subspecies: people have killed so many tigers that two races are probably extinct
More example sentences
  • This may be due, at least in part, to the differential sampling of races in the two subspecies, or it may reflect a real difference in allele frequencies.
  • Specimens identified as three separate species, based primarily on filament diameter and cell size, were determined to be polyploid races of a single species.
  • One accepted phylogeny classifies Rheidae as a family, with two species and several races.
1.5(In nontechnical use) each of the major divisions of living creatures: a member of the human race the race of birds
More example sentences
  • Here we have the attitude and spirit that can make it possible for the human race to grow together into a single family.
  • The race of plants, and the race of animals shrink under this great restrictive law.
  • The human race no longer adapts through natural selection.
1.6 literary A group of people descended from a common ancestor: a prince of the race of Solomon
More example sentences
  • These racists believed that not all races of humans had descended from Adam and Eve.
1.7 archaic Ancestry: two coursers of ethereal race

Although ideas of race are centuries old, it was not until the 19th century that attempts to systematize racial divisions were made. Ideas of supposed racial superiority and social Darwinism reached their culmination in Nazi ideology of the 1930s and gave pseudoscientific justification to policies and attitudes of discrimination, exploitation, slavery, and extermination. Theories of race asserting a link between racial type and intelligence are now discredited. Scientifically it is accepted as obvious that there are subdivisions of the human species, but it is also clear that genetic variation between individuals of the same race can be as great as that between members of different races

Origin

early 16th century (denoting a group with common features): via French from Italian razza, of unknown ultimate origin.

Usage

In recent years, the associations of race with the ideologies and theories that grew out of the work of 19th-century anthropologists and physiologists has led to the word race itself becoming problematic. Although still used in general contexts ( race relations, racial equality), it is now often replaced by other words that are less emotionally charged, such as people(s) or community.

Definition of race in:

There are 3 main definitions of race in English:

race3

Line breaks: race

Entry from British & World English dictionary

noun

dated
A ginger root.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French rais, from Latin radix, radic- 'root'.

Definition of race in: