noun \ˈrās\

Definition of RACE

chiefly Scottish :  the act of running
a :  a strong or rapid current of water flowing through a narrow channel
b :  a watercourse used industrially
c :  the current flowing in such a course
a :  a set course or duration of time
b :  the course of life
a :  a contest of speed
b plural :  a meeting in which several races (as for horses) are run
c :  a contest or rivalry involving progress toward a goal <pennant race>
:  a track or channel in which something rolls or slides; specifically :  a groove (as for the balls) in a bearing — see roller bearing illustration

Origin of RACE

Middle English ras, from Old Norse rās; akin to Old English ̄s rush
First Known Use: 14th century



: to compete in a race

: to compete in a race against (someone)

: to drive or ride (something) in a race


Full Definition of RACE

intransitive verb
:  to compete in a race
:  to go, move, or function at top speed or out of control <people racing for safety> <struggled to sleep as his mind raced>
:  to revolve too fast under a diminished load
transitive verb
:  to engage in a race with
a :  to enter in a race
b :  to drive or ride at high speed
c :  to transport or propel at maximum speed
:  to speed (as an engine) without a working load or with the transmission disengaged

Examples of RACE

  1. Eight horses will race for the cup.
  2. That horse will never race again.
  3. She's going to race the champion.
  4. They raced each other home.
  5. I'll race you to see who gets there first.
  6. She races cars for a living.
  7. The flood raced through the valley.
  8. The truck's engine was racing.
  9. The dog raced ahead of me.

First Known Use of RACE

15th century



Definition of RACE

:  a breeding stock of animals
a :  a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock
b :  a class or kind of people unified by shared interests, habits, or characteristics
a :  an actually or potentially interbreeding group within a species; also :  a taxonomic category (as a subspecies) representing such a group
b :  breed
c :  a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits
obsolete :  inherited temperament or disposition
:  distinctive flavor, taste, or strength

Origin of RACE

Middle French, generation, from Old Italian razza
First Known Use: 1580

Other Genetics Terms

chimera, hermaphrodite, plasticity


noun \ˈrās\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of RACE

a : an actually or potentially interbreeding group within a species; also : a taxonomic category (as a subspecies) representing such a group b : breed
: a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Term once commonly used in physical anthropology to denote a division of humankind possessing traits that are transmissible by descent and sufficient to characterize it as a distinct human type (e.g., Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid). Today the term has little scientific standing, as older methods of differentiation, including hair form and body measurement, have given way to the comparative analysis of DNA and gene frequencies relating to such factors as blood typing, the excretion of amino acids, and inherited enzyme deficiencies. Because all human populations today are extremely similar genetically, most researchers have abandoned the concept of race for the concept of the cline, a graded series of differences occurring along a line of environmental or geographical transition. This reflects the recognition that human populations have always been in a state of flux, with genes constantly flowing from one gene pool to another, impeded only by physical or ecological boundaries. While relative isolation does preserve genetic differences and allow populations to maximally adapt to climatic and disease factors over long periods of time, all groups currently existing are thoroughly “mixed” genetically, and such differences as still exist do not lend themselves to simple typologizing. “Race” is today primarily a sociological designation, identifying a class sharing some outward physical characteristics and some commonalities of culture and history. See also climatic adaptation, ethnic group, racism.


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