Get our exclusive Word of the Day images!
Old English furlang measure of distance of roughly 220 yards, originally the length of a furrow in the common field of 10 acres, from furh "furrow" + lang "long." The "acre" of the common field being variously measured, the furlong was fixed 9c. on the classical stadium, one-eighth of a Roman mile.
a stadium, a Greek measure of distance equal to 606 feet and 9 inches (Luke 24:13; John 6:19; 11:18; Rev. 14:20; 21:16).
old English unit of length, based on the length of an average plowed furrow (hence "furrow-long," or furlong) in the English open- or common-field system. Each furrow ran the length of a 40 4-rod acre, or 660 modern feet. The standardization of such linear units as the yard, foot, and inch-begun by government enactment sometime between 1266 and 1303-recognized the traditional sizes of rods, furlongs, and acres as fixed and therefore simply redefined them in terms of the newly standardized units. Thus, the furlong, often measured as 625 northern (German) feet, became 660 standard English feet, and the mile, always 8 furlongs, became 5,280 feet. Today, the furlong is used almost exclusively in horse racing.