hurtle

verb
hur·​tle | \ ˈhər-tᵊl How to pronounce hurtle (audio) \
hurtled; hurtling\ ˈhərt-​liŋ How to pronounce hurtling (audio) , ˈhər-​tᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of hurtle

intransitive verb

: to move rapidly or forcefully

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Other Words from hurtle

hurtle noun

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.

Examples of hurtle in a Sentence

Boulders hurtled down the hill. We kept to the side of the road as cars and trucks hurtled past us. The protesters hurtled bottles at the police. He hurtled himself into the crowd.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Whilst the bawling politicians send Britain hurtling towards a no-deal crash-out from Europe at the end of March, the U.K. government is surreptitiously hiring crisis-emergency personnel to handle the unplanned-for chaos. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "The Brexit Deadline Is Looming—Here’s How It Will Affect London Fashion Week," 14 Feb. 2019 Their emotionalism is in direct contrast with Barsoumian’s hurtling Hotspur, who hammers his lines for choleric emphasis. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Tom Hanks, Hamish Linklater and a 'Henry IV' worthy of applause," 10 June 2018 Some of the hurtling upside-down jumps are those usually associated with capoeira, the Brazilian martial arts genre. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Review: A Work That Conjures Desert Sands and Whirlwinds," 31 Jan. 2018 The elevator hurtles upward at a speed of 600 meters per minute, or faster than Usain Bolt on his best-ever day at the Olympics. Patrick Rogers, Town & Country, "Dubai, Beyond the Bling," 11 Aug. 2016 The emotional, dissonant scene reflected the increasingly divided nation that Trump leads, one gripped by a week of political violence and hate and hurtling toward contentious midterm elections that could alter the path of a presidency. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Trumps pay tribute at synagogue where 11 were fatally shot," 31 Oct. 2018 Rodman terrorized teams by sprinting in from the perimeter on offense, hurtling in and tipping and tipping to himself before kicking it back out. Chris Ballard, SI.com, "Draymond Before Draymond: The Complicated Legacy of Dennis Rodman," 6 June 2018 And yet ski jumping, a sport in which athletes hurtle down a ramp at 100 kilometers (60 miles) per hour before jumping the length of a football field, remains relatively obscure outside of Europe and Japan. Kristen Gelineau, chicagotribune.com, "Ski jumping 101: Aerodynamics key to success," 9 Feb. 2018 Shortly before Halloween, the chairman of Harvard's astronomy department openly declared that an interstellar object hurtling through our Solar System might just be part of an extraterrestrial craft. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Nailing down the nature of ‘Oumuamua—it’s probably a comet, but…," 29 Nov. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of hurtle

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for hurtle

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

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Statistics for hurtle

Last Updated

30 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hurtle

The first known use of hurtle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for hurtle

hurtle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of hurtle

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

hurtle

verb
hur·​tle | \ ˈhər-tᵊl How to pronounce hurtle (audio) \
hurtled; hurtling

Kids Definition of hurtle

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on hurtle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hurtle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hurtle

Spanish Central: Translation of hurtle

Nglish: Translation of hurtle for Spanish Speakers

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