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[hur-tl] /ˈhɜr tl/
verb (used without object), hurtled, hurtling.
to rush violently; move with great speed:
The car hurtled down the highway.
to move or go noisily or resoundingly, as with violent or rapid motion:
The sound was deafening, as tons of snow hurtled down the mountain.
Archaic. to strike together or against something; collide.
verb (used with object), hurtled, hurtling.
to drive violently; fling; dash.
Archaic. to dash against; collide with.
Archaic. clash; collision; shock; clatter.
Origin of hurtle
1175-1225; Middle English hurtle, equivalent to hurt(en) (see hurt) + -le -le
Can be confused
hurdle, hurl, hurtle.
1. speed, fly, race, rush, shoot. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hurtling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For out shot his right fist again, and, striking square between the eyes, it sent Jaime hurtling backwards.

    The Hero of Panama F. S. Brereton
  • The sky above the Vulcan was filled with the drone of hurtling shells.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • "'Tisn't mine," retorted Charity, hurtling cushions handily from one couch to another in order to balance the room.

    Kit of Greenacre Farm Izola Forrester
  • Something sped along this track with a hurtling rush and roar.

    A Stable for Nightmares J. Sheridan Le Fanu
  • All around us hidden guns, 4·5 and 9·2, were hurtling their messengers of death with a monotonous regularity.

    How I Filmed the War Lieut. Geoffrey H. Malins
British Dictionary definitions for hurtling


to project or be projected very quickly, noisily, or violently
(intransitive) (rare) to collide or crash
Word Origin
C13 hurtlen, from hurten to strike; see hurt1
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 hurtling



early 14c., hurteln, "to crash together; to crash down, knock down," probably frequentative of hurten (see hurt (v.)) in its original sense. Intransitive meaning "to rush, dash, charge" is late 14c. The essential notion in hurtle is that of forcible collision, in hurl that of forcible projection. Related: Hurtled; hurtling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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