Definition of furlong
: a unit of distance equal to 220 yards (about 201 meters)
furlong was our Word of the Day on 10/17/2012. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Furlong is an English original and can be traced back to Old English "furlang," a combination of the noun "furh" ("furrow") and the adjective "lang" ("long"). Though now standardized as a length of 220 yards (or 1/8th of a mile), the furlong was originally defined less precisely as the length of a furrow in a cultivated field. This length was equal to the long side of an acre-an area originally defined as the amount of arable land that could be plowed by a yoke of oxen in a day, but later standardized as an area measuring 220 yards (one furlong) by 22 yards, and now defined as any area measuring 4,840 square yards. In contemporary usage, "furlong" is often encountered in references to horse racing.
Origin and Etymology of furlong
Middle English, from Old English furlang, from furh furrow + lang long
First Known Use: 14th century
FURLONG Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of furlong for English Language Learners
: a unit of distance equal to 220 yards (about 201.2 meters) or 1/8 of a mile
FURLONG Defined for Kids
Definition of furlong for Students
: a unit of length equal to 220 yards (about 201 meters)
Seen and Heard
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