Definition of furlong in English:



  • An eighth of a mile, 220 yards.

    • ‘The Prix du Moulin winner, ridden by Christophe Lemaire, took over the lead in the final couple of furlongs.’
    • ‘Long before the Norman Conquest in 1066, Saxon farmers in England were measuring distance in rods and furlongs and areas in acres.’
    • ‘He won over a mile and two furlongs at Leopardstown back in May, coasting home by half a dozen lengths.’
    • ‘The roar of the crowd must have been music to the ears of McCoy, who never looked back and led for all two miles and five furlongs of the race.’
    • ‘Enclosed strips and furlongs are fields that probably originate from the enclosure of medieval strip fields.’
    • ‘The John Gosden-trained colt took up the lead coming into the home straight but faded in the final furlong.’
    • ‘For the first part of the race Attraction was boxed in but when a gap opened up on the rails with two furlongs to go the race was over.’
    • ‘In a wide open race, Wannabe Around broke from the start and opened up a five-length lead with three furlongs to go.’
    • ‘A wide and galloping track, one of the key moments comes about two furlongs from the winning post where there is a dip in the course.’
    • ‘Silca's Gift takes up the running in the final two furlongs and draws away to score a comfortable victory by three lengths.’
    • ‘A dour stayer, very much at home over this distance of three miles and three furlongs, he is taken to clinch the spoils.’
    • ‘This is a promising young horse, who is likely to relish every yard of the two miles and six furlongs.’
    • ‘High Chaparral made the lead with an eighth of a mile to go and edged left in the final furlong.’
    • ‘Tomorrow he steps up to a marathon three miles and three furlongs and, in a very modest event, can surely play a strong role.’
    • ‘Bandari's fast pace caught up with him in the closing four furlongs as first Millenary and then Warrsan outpaced him.’
    • ‘He has only ever won over three miles and a furlong or below but Henderson does not think the trip will be a problem for his horse.’
    • ‘Dettori had his mount travelling well all through the race and moved up with a furlong and a half to go to challenge Two Miles West.’
    • ‘Trained by Mark Tompkins and ridden by Philip Robinson, Babodana made his move about three furlongs out.’
    • ‘I have never, ever heard of furlongs, and my question is ‘1 mile = 8 furlongs, how many cubic furlongs in a cubic mile?’’
    • ‘Cyril Hart has pointed out the earliest known written record of the furlong as a unit of length, in the description of the boundary of Bury St. Edmunds in a charter dated 945.’
    • ‘Tomorrow's three miles and three furlongs contest should bring out the best in him and a return to winning form is expected.’
    • ‘Spencer then moved to the front and led inside the final furlong to record a famous victory for trainer Henry Candy.’
    • ‘Eight furlongs into the ten furlong race, Gatwick looked to have next to no chance.’
    • ‘Run over 12 furlongs it is the longest race on the card and is worth 1 million.’


Old English furlang, from furh furrow + lang long The word originally denoted the length of a furrow in a common field (formally regarded as a square of ten acres). It was also used as the equivalent of the Roman stadium, one eighth of a Roman mile, whence the current sense. Compare with stadium.