mo·​to·​cross ˈmō-tō-ˌkrȯs How to pronounce motocross (audio)
variants or less commonly motorcross
plural motocrosses also motorcrosses
: a closed-course motorcycle race over natural or simulated rough terrain (as with steep inclines, hairpin turns, and mud)
… has brought in some 75,000 visitors during the past six months. They have come to participate in such activities as square dance contests, Highland games and motocrosses.Judith Segal and Linn Varney
also : the sport of engaging in motocross races
If you think racing motocross is a tough sport now—just take yourself back 30 years to the early '70s. Dirt Rider
Motocross began around 1914 as a form of relaxation for employees at an English motorcycle factory. It became an international sport in the '50s, mainly in Europe. In the '70s, it took root in America, particularly in Southern California. Tracy Young
This versatile space seats 12,000 people for events ranging from basketball to motorcross and world-class ice skating. Steve Womersley and Rachel Neustein
In a return for the first event this summer, motocross enthusiasts will once again be able to race at the Taber Motorsports Park this coming weekend. Cole Parkinson

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web On January 7, the 27-year-old model was photographed embracing the motocross trend in Los Angeles following her snow bunny adventure in Aspen, Colorado. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 9 Jan. 2023 Cruise apparently performed more than 500 sky dives and over 13,000 motocross jumps to prepare for the stunt, and this video features footage of many of them. Christian Holub,, 19 Dec. 2022 Across the 25-foot width of the Red Bull Straight Rhythm motocross dirt track, builder Jason Baker can’t allow for any variations. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 14 Oct. 2022 The Hurricane Mills complex includes campgrounds, a dude ranch, a motocross course, a music shed, a replica of the cabin where Ms. Lynn grew up, a simulated coal mine and museums. Bill Friskics-warren, New York Times, 4 Oct. 2022 On the dirt side of things, simple, versatile mountain bikes evolved into human-powered motocross bikes, with complex suspension systems, and of course hydraulic disc brakes, which invariably made their way onto road bikes too. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, 1 Nov. 2022 The unique nature of two motocross riders, racing side-by-side down an identical dirt course, requires exacting precision for all 1,800 feet of track. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 14 Oct. 2022 Muscle T-Shirt by Jungmaven; vintage motocross pants from Fox Costumes & Wardrobe; boots by Alpinestars; gloves by FLY Racing; watch by Garmin. Lauren Larson, Men's Health, 7 Sep. 2022 The mayor of a Georgia town has died in a motocross accident just months after being elected. Charmaine Patterson, Peoplemag, 27 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History


motocross borrowed from French, from moto "motorcycle" (short for motocyclette) + cross-country "racecourse laid out over open country" (borrowed from English cross-country entry 1); motorcross altered from motocross by conformation to motor entry 1

First Known Use

1951, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of motocross was in 1951

Dictionary Entries Near motocross

Cite this Entry

“Motocross.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


mo·​to·​cross ˈmōt-ō-ˌkrȯs How to pronounce motocross (audio)
: a motorcycle race over a course laid out on rough terrain
also : the sport of motocross racing

More from Merriam-Webster on motocross

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