1 [reys]
a contest of speed, as in running, riding, driving, or sailing.
races, a series of races, usually of horses or dogs, run at a set time over a regular course: They spent a day at the races.
any contest or competition, especially to achieve superiority: the arms race; the presidential race.
urgent need, responsibility, effort, etc., as when time is short or a solution is imperative: the race to find an effective vaccine.
onward movement; an onward or regular course.
the course of time.
the course of life or a part of life.
a strong or rapid current of water, as in the sea or a river.
the channel or bed of such a current or of any stream.
an artificial channel leading water to or from a place where its energy is utilized.
the current of water in such a channel.
Also called raceway. Machinery. a channel, groove, or the like, for sliding or rolling a part or parts, as the balls of a ball bearing.
the float between adjacent rows of pile.
verb (used without object), raced, racing.
to engage in a contest of speed; run a race.
to run horses or dogs in races; engage in or practice horse racing or dog racing.
to run, move, or go swiftly.
(of an engine, wheel, etc.) to run with undue or uncontrolled speed when the load is diminished without corresponding diminution of fuel, force, etc.
verb (used with object), raced, racing.
to run a race against; try to beat in a contest of speed: I'll race you to the water.
to enter (a horse, car, track team, or the like) in a race or races.
to cause to run, move, or go at high speed: to race a motor.

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English ras(e) < Old Norse rās a running, race (cognate with Old English rǣs a running); (v.) Middle English rasen, derivative of the noun (compare Old Norse rasa to rush headlong)

antiracing, adjective
preracing, adjective
proracing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged


2 [reys]
a group of persons related by common descent or heredity.
a population so related.
(no longer in technical use) any of the traditional divisions of humankind, the commonest being the caucasian, Mongoloid, and Negro, characterized by supposedly distinctive and universal physical characteristics.
an arbitrary classification of modern humans, sometimes, especially formerly, based on any or a combination of various physical characteristics, as skin color, facial form, or eye shape, and now frequently based on such genetic markers as blood groups.
a human population partially isolated reproductively from other populations, whose members share a greater degree of physical and genetic similarity with one another than with other humans.
a group of tribes or peoples forming an ethnic stock: the Slavic race.
any people united by common history, language, cultural traits, etc.: the Dutch race.
the human race or family; humankind: Nuclear weapons pose a threat to the race.
Zoology. a variety; subspecies.
a natural kind of living creature: the race of fishes.
any group, class, or kind, especially of persons: Journalists are an interesting race.
the characteristic taste or flavor of wine.
of or pertaining to the races of humankind.

1490–1500; < French < Italian razza, of obscure origin

1. tribe, clan, family, stock, line, breed. Race, people, nation are terms for a large body of persons who may be thought of as a unit because of common characteristics. In the traditional biological and anthropological systems of classification, race refers to a group of persons who share such genetically transmitted traits as skin color, hair texture, and eye shape or color: the white race. In reference to classifying the human species, race is now under dispute among modern biologists and anthropologists. Some feel that the term has no biological validity; others use it to specify only a partially isolated reproductive population whose members share a considerable degree of genetic similarity. In certain broader or less technical senses, race is sometimes used interchangeably with people., People refers to a body of persons united usually by common interests, ideals, or culture but sometimes also by a common history, language, or ethnic character: We are one people; the peoples of the world; the Swedish people. Nation refers to a body of persons living under an organized government or rule, occupying a defined area, and acting as a unit in matters of peace and war: the English nation.


3 [reys]
the root of the ginger plant; a gingerroot.

1540–50; < Middle French rais < Latin rādīc- (stem of rādīx) root1


a cape at the SE extremity of Newfoundland.
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World English Dictionary
race1 (reɪs)
1.  a contest of speed, as in running, swimming, driving, riding, etc
2.  any competition or rivalry: the race for the White House
3.  rapid or constant onward movement: the race of time
4.  a rapid current of water, esp one through a narrow channel that has a tidal range greater at one end than the other
5.  a channel of a stream, esp one for conducting water to or from a water wheel or other device for utilizing its energy: a mill race
6.  a.  a channel or groove that contains ball bearings or roller bearings or that restrains a sliding component
 b.  the inner or outer cylindrical ring in a ball bearing or roller bearing
7.  (Austral), (NZ) a narrow passage or enclosure in a sheep yard through which sheep pass individually, as to a sheep dip
8.  (Austral) a wire tunnel through which footballers pass from the changing room onto a football field
9.  (NZ) a line of containers coupled together, used in mining to transport coal
10.  another name for slipstream
11.  archaic the span or course of life
12.  informal (Austral) not in the race given or having no chance
13.  to engage in a contest of speed with (another)
14.  to engage (oneself or one's representative) in a race, esp as a profession or pastime: to race pigeons
15.  to move or go as fast as possible
16.  to run (an engine, shaft, propeller, etc) or (of an engine, shaft, propeller, etc) to run at high speed, esp after reduction of the load or resistance
[C13: from Old Norse rās running; related to Old English rǣs attack]

race2 (reɪs)
1.  a group of people of common ancestry, distinguished from others by physical characteristics, such as hair type, colour of eyes and skin, stature, etc. Principal races are Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid
2.  the human race human beings collectively
3.  a group of animals or plants having common characteristics that distinguish them from other members of the same species, usually forming a geographically isolated group; subspecies
4.  a group of people sharing the same interests, characteristics, etc: the race of authors
5.  informal play the race card to introduce the subject of race into a public discussion, esp to gain a strategic advantage
[C16: from French, from Italian razza, of uncertain origin]

race3 (reɪs)
a ginger root
[C15: from Old French rais, from Latin rādīx a root]

Race (reɪs)
Cape Race a cape at the SE extremity of Newfoundland, Canada

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"act of running," c.1300, from O.N. ras "running, rush (of water)," cognate with O.E. ræs, which became M.E. resen "attack, incursion," but did not survive into Mod.Eng. Both O.N. and O.E. are from P.Gmc. *ræs- (cf. M.Du. rasen "to rave, rage," Ger. rasen). Originally a northern word, it
became general in English c.1550. Meaning "contest of speed" first recorded 1510s (the verb in this sense is from 1670s). Race-horse is from 1620s. Meaning "strong current of water" is from late 14c., possibly influenced by O.Fr. raz, which had a similar meaning, and is probably from Breton raz "a strait, narrow channel;" this French source also may have given race its meaning of "channel of a stream" (especially an artificial one to a mill), recorded from 1560s. The verb, in reference to an engine, is from 1862.

"people of common descent," c.1500, from M.Fr. razza "race, breed, lineage," possibly from It. razza, of unknown origin (cf. Sp., Port. raza). Original senses in Eng. included "wines with characteristic flavor" (1520), "group of people with common occupation" (c.1500), and "generation" (c.1560). Meaning
"tribe, nation, or people regarded as of common stock" is from c.1600. Modern meaning of "one of the great divisions of mankind based on physical peculiarities" is from 1774 (though even among anthropologists there never has been an accepted classification of these). Klein suggests these derive from Arabic ra's "head, beginning, origin" (cf. Heb. rosh). O.E. þeode meant both "race" and "language;" as a verb, geþeodan, it meant "to unite, to join." Racial is first attested 1862. Race-riot attested from 1890.
"Just being a Negro doesn't qualify you to understand the race situation any more than being sick makes you an expert on medicine." [Dick Gregory, 1964]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

race (rās)

  1. A local geographic or global human population distinguished as a more or less distinct group by genetically transmitted physical characteristics.

  2. A population of organisms differing from others of the same species in the frequency of hereditary traits; a subspecies.

  3. A breed or strain, as of domestic animals.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
race   (rās)  Pronunciation Key 
    1. An interbreeding, usually geographically isolated population of organisms differing from other populations of the same species in the frequency of hereditary traits. A race that has been given formal taxonomic recognition is known as a subspecies.

    2. A breed or strain, as of domestic animals.

  1. Any of several extensive human populations associated with broadly defined regions of the world and distinguished from one another on the basis of inheritable physical characteristics, traditionally conceived as including such traits as pigmentation, hair texture, and facial features. Because the number of genes responsible for such physical variations is tiny in comparison to the size of the human genome and because genetic variation among members of a traditionally recognized racial group is generally as great as between two such groups, most scientists now consider race to be primarily a social rather than a scientific concept.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

RACE definition

Requirements Acquisition and Controlled Evolution.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see rat race; slow but sure (steady wins the race).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences for Race
Each race or subspecies of honeybee has its own swarming characteristics.
The race was originally run at phoenix park racecourse in dublin.
She tells him that her race was not aware that humans were sentient creatures.
The race was on among the royal dukes to marry and produce an heir.
Images for Race
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