Race means to speed or move quickly. A race is a contest to see who is moving the quickest. Race can also mean genetic grouping––if you are reading this, chances are you're a member of the "human race."

After watching an exciting horse race, your heart may be racing, meaning your pulse is moving fast. You may find yourself racing through your day if you have too much to do, or you might race a friend home from school to see which is fastest, walking or taking the bus. On a form that asks you your race, you will often be prompted with racial categories, such as Caucasian, African-American, or Native American.

Primary Meanings of race

a contest of speed
compete in a race
people who are believed to belong to the same genetic stock
a canal for a current of water
the flow of air that is driven backwards by an aircraft propeller
Full Definitions of race

n a contest of speed

“the race is to the swift”
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auto race, automobile race, car race
a race between (usually high-performance) automobiles
bicycle race
a race between people riding bicycles
boat race
a race between people rowing or driving boats
a high-speed motorcycle race on a public road
chariot race
a race between ancient chariots
dog racing
a race between dogs; usually an occasion for betting on the outcome
foot race, footrace, run
a race run on foot
a race (as in swimming) in which each contestant has a free choice of the style to use
cross country
a long race run over open country
a preliminary race in which the winner advances to a more important race
horse race
a contest of speed between horses; usually held for the purpose of betting
potato race
a novelty race in which competitors move potatoes from one place to another one at a time
sack race
a novelty race in which competitors jump ahead with their feet confined in a sack
scratch race
a race in which all contestants start from scratch (on equal terms)
ski race, skiing race
a race between people wearing skis
relay, relay race
a race between teams; each member runs or swims part of the distance
a race (especially in rowing) in which runners-up in the eliminating heats compete for a place in the final race
Grand Prix
one of several international races
an automobile race run over public roads
Tour de France
a French bicycle race for professional cyclists that lasts three weeks and covers about 3,000 miles
sailing-race, yacht race
a race between crews of people in yachts
fun run, funrun
a footrace run for fun (often including runners who are sponsored for a charity)
a footrace of 26 miles 385 yards
Iditarod, Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race
an important dogsled race run annually on the Iditarod Trail
claiming race
a horse race in which each owner declares before the race at what price his horse will be offered for sale after the race
selling race
a horse race in which the winning horse must be put up for auction
harness race, harness racing
a horse race between people riding in sulkies behind horses that are trotting or pacing
stake race
a horse race in which part of the prize is put up by the owners of the horses in the race
a horse race over an obstructed course
obstacle race
a race in which competitors must negotiate obstacles
a footrace of usually 3000 meters over a closed track with hurdles and a water jump
thoroughbred race
a race between thoroughbred horses
a ski race down a trail
a downhill race over a winding course defined by upright poles
torch race
(ancient Greece) in which a torch is passed from one runner to the next
track event
a footrace performed on a track (indoor or outdoor)
Type of:
competition, contest
an occasion on which a winner is selected from among two or more contestants

n any competition

“the race for the presidency”
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arms race
a competition between nations to have the most powerful armaments
campaign, political campaign, run
a race between candidates for elective office
campaign for governor, governor's race
a race for election to the governorship
senate campaign, senate race
a race for election to the senate
Type of:
competition, contest
an occasion on which a winner is selected from among two or more contestants

v compete in a race

“let's race and see who gets there first”
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finish third or better in a horse or dog race
finish second or better in a horse or dog race
participate in a boat race
compete in a horse race
campaign, run
run, stand, or compete for an office or a position
speed skate
race on skates
ride a racehorse as a professional jockey
travel through a district and make political speeches
run again for office
tour the country in order to solicit votes for an election
cross-file, register
have one's name listed as a candidate for several parties
Type of:
compete, contend, vie
compete for something; engage in a contest; measure oneself against others

v move fast

“The cars raced down the street”
belt along, bucket along, cannonball along, hasten, hie, hotfoot, pelt along, rush, rush along, speed, step on it
dawdle, linger
take one's time; proceed slowly
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barge, push forward, thrust ahead
push one's way
buck, charge, shoot, shoot down, tear
move quickly and violently
dart, dash, flash, scoot, scud, shoot
run or move very quickly or hastily
dash violently or with great speed or impetuosity
move precipitously or violently
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically

v to work as fast as possible towards a goal, sometimes in competition with others

“We are racing to find a cure for AIDS”
Type of:
act, move
perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)

v cause to move fast or to rush or race

“The psychologist raced the rats through a long maze”
Type of:
displace, move
cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense

n people who are believed to belong to the same genetic stock

“some biologists doubt that there are important genetic differences between races of human beings”
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color, colour, people of color, people of colour
a race with skin pigmentation different from the white race (especially Blacks)
Herrenvolk, master race
a race that considers itself superior to all others and fitted to rule the others
Black race, Negro race, Negroid race
a dark-skinned race
Caucasian race, Caucasoid race, White people, White race
a light-skinned race
Mongolian race, Mongoloid race, Yellow race
an Asian race
Amerindian race, Indian race
usually included in the Mongoloid race
Indian race
sometimes included in the Caucasian race; native to the subcontinent of India
Slavic people, Slavic race
a race of people speaking a Slavonic language
Type of:
group, grouping
any number of entities (members) considered as a unit

n (biology) a taxonomic group that is a division of a species; usually arises as a consequence of geographical isolation within a species

Type of:
taxon, taxonomic category, taxonomic group
animal or plant group having natural relations

n a canal for a current of water

Type of:
long and narrow strip of water made for boats or for irrigation

n the flow of air that is driven backwards by an aircraft propeller

airstream, backwash, slipstream, wash
Type of:
any uninterrupted stream or discharge

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