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steeplechase

[stee-puh l-cheys] /ˈsti pəlˌtʃeɪs/
noun
1.
a horse race over a turf course furnished with artificial ditches, hedges, and other obstacles over which the horses must jump.
2.
a point-to-point race.
3.
a foot race run on a cross-country course or over a course having obstacles, as ditches, hurdles, or the like, which the runners must clear.
verb (used without object), steeplechased, steeplechasing.
4.
to ride or run in a steeplechase.
Origin
1795-1805
1795-1805; steeple + chase1; so called because the course was kept by sighting a church steeple
Related forms
steeplechaser, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for steeple-chase

steeplechase

/ˈstiːpəlˌtʃeɪs/
noun
1.
a horse race over a course equipped with obstacles to be jumped, esp artificial hedges, ditches, water jumps, etc
2.
a track race, usually of 3000 metres, in which the runners have to leap hurdles, a water jump, etc
3.
(archaic)
  1. a horse race across a stretch of open countryside including obstacles to be jumped
  2. a rare word for point-to-point
verb
4.
(intransitive) to take part in a steeplechase
Derived Forms
steeplechasing, noun
Word Origin
C19: so called because it originally took place cross-country, with a church tower serving as a landmark to guide the riders
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 steeple-chase

steeplechase

n.

1793 (earlier steeplehunt, 1772), from steeple + chase (n.). Originally a race with a visible church steeple as a goal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for steeple-chase

steeplechase

in athletics (track-and-field), a footrace over an obstacle course that includes such obstacles as water ditches, open ditches, and fences.

Learn more about steeplechase with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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9
11
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