Word Origin & History
O.E. stridan "to straddle," from P.Gmc. *stridanan (cf. M.L.G. strede "stride," Du. strijd, O.H.G. strit, Ger. Streit "fight, contention, combat," O.N. striðr "strong, hard, stubborn, severe"), from base *strid- "to strive, make a strong effort." Meaning "to walk with long or extended steps" is from
c.1200. Cognate words in most Gmc. languages mean "to fight, struggle;" the notion behind the Eng. usage might be the effort involved in making long strides, striving forward. The noun was in O.E.; fig. meaning of make strides "make progress" is from 1600. To take (something) in stride (1832), i.e. "without change of gait" is originally of horses leaping hedges in the hunting-field; fig. sense attested from 1902. Jazz music stride tempo is attested from 1938.