Word of the Day : November 10, 2018

furlong

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noun FER-lawng

Definition

: a unit of distance equal to 220 yards (about 201 meters)

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.


Examples

"They tramped on again. But they had not gone more than a furlong when the storm returned with fresh fury." — J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954

"Entered in the nine-furlong Pennsylvania Derby is a mix of local runners taking a shot at at least a portion of the $1 million purse and high-profile horses that have been running in graded stakes…." — Teresa Genaro, Forbes, 18 Sept. 2018



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