verb hur·tle \ ˈhər-tᵊl \
|Updated on: 22 Jun 2018

Definition of hurtle

hurtled; hurtling play \ˈhərt-liŋ, ˈhər-tᵊl-iŋ\
: to move rapidly or forcefully



Examples of hurtle in a Sentence

  1. Boulders hurtled down the hill.

  2. We kept to the side of the road as cars and trucks hurtled past us.

  3. The protesters hurtled bottles at the police.

  4. He hurtled himself into the crowd.

Recent Examples of hurtle from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hurtle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Hurdle vs. Hurtle

Indistinguishable in speech, the words hurtle and hurdle can be a confusing pair.

Hurtle is a verb with two meanings: "to move rapidly or forcefully," as in "The stone was hurtling through the air," and "to hurl or fling," as in "I hurtled the stone into the air." Note that the first use is intransitive: the stone isn't hurtling anything; it itself is simply hurtling. The second use is transitive: something was hurtled—in this case, a stone.

Hurdle is both a noun and a verb. As a noun, its most common meanings have to do with barriers: the ones that runners leap over, and the metaphorical extension of these, the figurative barriers and obstacles we try to similarly overcome. The verb hurdle has two meanings, and they are directly related to these. It can mean "to leap over especially while running," as in "She hurdled the fence," and it can mean "to overcome or surmount," as in "They've had to hurdle significant financial obstacles." The verb hurdle is always transitive; that is, there's always a thing being hurdled, whether it be a physical obstacle or a metaphorical one.

Origin and Etymology of hurtle

Middle English hurtlen to collide, frequentative of hurten to cause to strike, hurt

HURTLE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of hurtle for English Language Learners

  • : to move or fall with great speed and force

  • : to cause (something or someone) to move or go with great speed and force

HURTLE Defined for Kids


verb hur·tle \ ˈhər-tᵊl \

Definition of hurtle for Students

hurtled; hurtling
: to move or fall with great speed or force
  • Rocks hurtled down the hill.

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a figure representing a hated person

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