hippodrome

hippodrome

[hip-uh-drohm]
noun
1.
an arena or structure for equestrian and other spectacles.
2.
(in ancient Greece and Rome) an oval track for horse races and chariot races.

Origin:
1540–50; < Latin hippodromos < Greek hippódromos, equivalent to hippo- hippo- + drómos -drome

hippodromic [hip-uh-drom-ik] , adjective
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World English Dictionary
hippodrome (ˈhɪpəˌdrəʊm)
 
n
1.  a music hall, variety theatre, or circus
2.  (in ancient Greece or Rome) an open-air course for horse and chariot races
 
[C16: from Latin hippodromos, from Greek hippos horse + dromos a race]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

hippodrome
1585, from Fr. hippodrome, from L. hippodromos "race course," from Gk. hippodromos, from hippos "horse" + dromos "course."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

hippodrome

ancient Greek stadium designed for horse racing and especially chariot racing. Its Roman counterpart was called a circus and is best represented by the Circus Maximus (q.v.). The typical hippodrome was dug into a hillside and the excavated material used to construct an embankment for supporting seats on the opposite side. In shape the hippodrome was oblong, with one end semicircular and the other square; it thus resembled a U with a closed top. Seats ran in tiers the length of the arena and along the curve, while at the straight end dignitaries occupied seats above the arena's offices. A low wall called a spina ran most of the length of the stadium and divided the course. The spina was decorated with monuments and had sculptures that could be tilted or removed to keep spectators informed of the laps completed by the racers. Because as many as 10 chariots raced at one time, the breadth of the course was sometimes as much as 400 feet (120 m); the length was about 600 to 700 feet (180 to 210 m)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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