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[hur-ling] /ˈhɜr lɪŋ/
the act of throwing or casting, especially with great force or strength.
a traditionally Irish game played by two teams of 15 players each on a rectangular field 140 yards (128 meters) long, points being scored by hitting, pushing, carrying, or throwing the leather-covered ball between the goalposts at the opponent's end of the field with a wide-bladed stick resembling a hockey stick.
(in parts of Britain, especially Cornwall) a traditional, rural game in which two groups of players, using methods similar to those of football, vie for possession of a ball or other object and try to carry or hurl it into their own parish, village, farm, etc.
Origin of hurling
1350-1400; Middle English; see hurl, -ing1


[hurl] /hɜrl/
verb (used with object)
to throw or fling with great force or vigor.
to throw or cast down.
to utter with vehemence:
to hurl insults at the umpire.
verb (used without object)
to throw a missile.
Baseball. to pitch a ball.
a forcible or violent throw; fling.
1175-1225; Middle English hurlen, equivalent to hur- (perhaps akin to hurry) + -len -le; akin to Low German hurreln to toss, Frisian hurreln to roar (said of the wind), dialectal German hurlen to roll, rumble (said of thunder)
Related forms
hurler, noun
outhurl, verb (used with object)
unhurled, adjective
Can be confused
hurdle, hurl, hurtle.
1. cast, pitch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hurling
  • The ground heaved and pitched, hurling furniture, snapping trees and destroying barns and homesteads.
  • Imagine hurling a smartphone off the roof of a building and recording its fall all the way down.
  • At this stage, your whole comment amounts to unqualified elephant hurling.
  • Speedy was stomping through the mud, hurling paper into the underbrush.
  • It lunges for my eyes, hurling its blades at the grills in my armored mask.
  • The model takes several platoons of marines and pits them against enemy soldiers, militia, and rock-hurling civilians.
  • Alex is incredibly strong, lifting cars and hurling them at enemy soldiers.
  • And, of course, there's the novelty of hurling pigs toward a target.
  • The legendary cliff divers perform nightly shows on the north side of town, hurling themselves with abandon into the surf below.
  • Some time for reflection might stop us from hurling insults and instead help us to reach our best selves.
British Dictionary definitions for hurling


a traditional Irish game resembling hockey and lacrosse, played with sticks and a ball between two teams of 15 players each


(transitive) to throw or propel with great force
(transitive) to utter with force; yell: to hurl insults
(Scot) (hʌrl). to transport or be transported in a driven vehicle
the act or an instance of hurling
(Scot) (hʌrl). a ride in a driven vehicle
Derived Forms
hurler, noun
Word Origin
C13: probably of imitative origin
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 hurling

verbal noun of hurl (q.v.); attested 1520s as a form of hockey played in Ireland; c.1600 as the name of a game like hand-ball that once was popular in Cornwall.



early 13c., hurlen, "to run against (each other), come into collision," later "throw forcibly" (c.1300); "rush violently" (late 14c.); perhaps related to Low German hurreln "to throw, to dash," and East Frisian hurreln "to roar, to bluster." OED suggests all are from an imitative Germanic base *hurr "expressing rapid motion;" see also hurry. The noun is attested from late 14c., originally "rushing water." For difference between hurl and hurtle (which apparently were confused since early Middle English) see hurtle.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hurling


  1. To pitch: after hurling five frames in three games (1908+ Baseball)
  2. o vomit: Somebody hurled, which was so gross it made somebody else hurl (1992+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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