hurdle

A hurdle is a barrier or other obstacle that a runner has to jump over during a race. If you trip on a hurdle, you probably won't win the race.

When they're doing certain types of races, both human and horse athletes have to leap across hurdles (sometimes other animals do this too, like dogs and even rabbits). To do this is also to hurdle. There are physical hurdles, and then there are their figurative counterparts — those difficulties or hurdles that prevent you from progressing in your life.

Definitions of hurdle
1

n a light movable barrier that competitors must leap over in certain races

Type of:
barrier
a structure or object that impedes free movement

n the act of jumping over an obstacle

Synonyms:
vault
Type of:
jump, jumping
the act of jumping; propelling yourself off the ground

n an obstacle that you are expected to overcome

“the last hurdle before graduation”
Type of:
obstacle, obstruction
something immaterial that stands in the way and must be circumvented or surmounted

v jump a hurdle

Type of:
overleap, vault
jump across or leap over (an obstacle)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.