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furlong

[fur-lawng, -long] /ˈfɜr lɔŋ, -lɒŋ/
noun
1.
a unit of distance, equal to 220 yards (201 meters) or ⅛ mile (0.2 km).
Abbreviation: fur.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English furlang length of a furrow. See furrow, long1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for furlongs

furlong

/ˈfɜːˌlɒŋ/
noun
1.
a unit of length equal to 220 yards (201.168 metres)
Word Origin
Old English furlang, from furhfurrow + langlong1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for furlongs

furlong

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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furlongs in the Bible

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).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Article for furlongs

furlong

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.

Learn more about furlong with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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12
16
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