Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to races: Human races

race 1

1. A group of people identified as distinct from other groups because of supposed physical or genetic traits shared by the group. Most biologists and anthropologists do not recognize race as a biologically valid classification, in part because there is more genetic variation within groups than between them.
2. A group of people united or classified together on the basis of common history, nationality, or geographic distribution: the Celtic race.
3. A genealogical line; a lineage.
4. Humans considered as a group.
5. Biology
a. A usually geographically isolated population of organisms that differs from other populations of the same species in certain heritable traits: an island race of birds.
b. A breed or strain, as of domestic animals.
6. A distinguishing or characteristic quality, such as the flavor of a wine.
1. Of or relating to race; racial: race relations; race quotas.
2. Of or relating to forms of popular entertainment made by and largely marketed to African Americans in the early 1900s: race literature; race records.

[Middle French rasse, race, lineage, race, from Old Italian razza, probably from Old French haraz, stud farm for horses : Old French *har-, gray, gray-haired (as in French dialectal (Normandy) harousse, nag, old mare; perhaps in reference to the graying of stud horses with age and from Old Norse hārr, gray-haired, hoaryakin to English hoar) or Old French *har-, hair (perhaps in reference to the fact that stud horses are no longer regularly saddled; akin to French dialectal (Norman) har, hair, in monter á har, to ride on hair, ride bareback, from Old Norse hār, hairakin to English hair) + Old French -az, -as, n. suff. (from Latin -āceus, -aceous).]

race 2

1. Sports
a. A competition of speed, as in running or riding.
b. races A series of such competitions held at a specified time on a regular course: a fan of the dog races.
2. An extended competition in which participants struggle like runners to be the winner: the presidential race.
3. Steady or rapid onward movement: the race of time.
a. A strong or swift current of water.
b. The channel of such a current.
c. An artificial channel built to transport water and use its energy. Also called raceway.
5. A groovelike part of a machine in which a moving part slides or rolls.
v. raced, rac·ing, rac·es
1. Sports To compete in a contest of speed.
2. To move rapidly or at top speed: We raced home. My heart was racing with fear.
3. To run too rapidly due to decreased resistance or unnecessary provision of fuel: adjusted the idle to keep the engine from racing.
1. Sports
a. To compete against in a race.
b. To cause to compete in a race: She races horses for a living.
2. To transport rapidly or at top speed; rush: raced the injured motorist to the hospital.
3. To cause (an engine with the gears disengaged, for example) to run swiftly or too swiftly.

[Middle English ras, from Old Norse rās, rush, running; see ers- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


pl n
1. (Horse Racing) the races a series of contests of speed between horses (or sometimes greyhounds) over a set course at prearranged times; a race meeting
2. (Individual Sports, other than specified) the races a series of contests of speed between horses (or sometimes greyhounds) over a set course at prearranged times; a race meeting
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in classic literature ?
There were several races fixed for that day: the Mounted Guards' race, then the officers' mile-and-a-half race, then the three-mile race, and then the race for which he was entered.
There was a beautiful canopy for Ozma and her guests to sit under and watch the people run races and jump and wrestle.
Hence it has been argued that no deductions can be drawn from domestic races to species in a state of nature.
They look upon us as we look upon the beasts of our fields, and I learn from their written records that other races of Mahars feed upon men--they keep them in great droves, as we keep cattle.
And I do not pretend to any interest in the enumeration of the great races of that year.
But to teach the Negro to do skilful work, as men of all the races that have risen have worked,--responsible work, which IS education and character; and most of all when Negroes so teach Negroes to do this that they will teach others with a missionary zeal that puts all ordinary philanthropic efforts to shame,--this is to change the whole economic basis of life and the whole character of a people.
He admired Edna extravagantly, after meeting her at the races with her father.
She saw instead the long line of men of many races, stripped to the waist and toiling as though for their lives under a tropical sun, she saw the great brown water-jars passed down the line, men fainting beneath the burning sun and their places taken by others.
Were they referees appointed to act at the coming race? or reporters for the newspapers?
A STATESMAN who had saved his country was returning from Washington on foot, when he met a Race Horse going at full speed, and stopped it.
"My sympathies are not for my father's race, but for my mother's.
I was surprised to discover that gratitude was a characteristic of the dominant race of Pellucidar.