Definition of stampede in US English:



  • 1A sudden panicked rush of a number of horses, cattle, or other animals.

    • ‘The sound of a car revving up and suddenly moving reached my ears, and it was not long before a black car came to my side with a stampede of crazed animals following.’
    • ‘The smoke evolved into a stampede of horses only to disappear.’
    • ‘The final bell rang and everyone rushed out the door like a wild stampede of animals.’
    • ‘Teri Hatcher has reportedly been caught up in a terrifying elephant stampede.’
    • ‘What sounded like a stampede of wild rhinoceroses roused her from her sleep.’
    • ‘Out of nowhere, a stampede of dogs came rushing forth, knocking me over and to the ground.’
    • ‘A farmer has slammed joyriders who chased his cattle into a stampede, driving one to its death.’
    • ‘And artists have portrayed wild-game hunts in Africa, as well as Indian buffalo leaps in America when men have deliberately caused animal stampedes.’
    • ‘Last year I was nearly crushed in a stampede by my horses as I tried to bring them in for the night; again because of an air bomb exploding about their heads.’
    • ‘What normally seemed like a soft tiptoe, was now a stampede of horses.’
    • ‘When Elizabeth saw Will, she could not contain herself and the question burst from her lips like a stampede of wild horses, ‘who was it from, Will?’’
    • ‘Indonesian player Mistar, 25, was killed by a stampede of wild pigs that overran his team's training field in 1995.’
    • ‘Lia was looking around her shoulder, as if she was expecting a stampede of wild animals to come charging down the corner.’
    • ‘His first inclination was that Bru-shon's men had sent the palace horses into a stampede.’
    • ‘A couple have told how they are lucky to be alive after a horse pulling their carriage ran amok and started a stampede during a holiday pleasure trip.’
    • ‘A pensioner was badly injured on Tuesday after being caught in a horse stampede at a Norwegian beauty spot.’
    • ‘It was as if hunters had egged on a wildebeest stampede.’
    • ‘He then saw a stampede of wild cattle, set loose from the docks in the pandemonium, and began shooting at them - but was unable to kill them all before a man was gored to death.’
    • ‘But they must confront all sorts of dangers, including a rabid hunter and a stampede of great beasts if they are to win the game and conquer Jumanji.’
    • ‘He felt like he'd been dragged behind a stampede of horses, maybe he had.’
    charge, panic, rush, flight, rout, scattering
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A sudden rapid movement or reaction of a mass of people in response to a particular circumstance or stimulus.
      ‘a stampede of bargain hunters’
      • ‘I think the correct description is that a lot of the financial analysts are essentially herd animals, and they follow the stampede in whichever direction it's going.’
      • ‘Without warning, there was a sudden stampede running full pelt up from the disaster site, men and women in fatigues, burly construction workers, firemen in bunker gear.’
      • ‘It was like a cattle mart; stampedes of young people pulling, pushing and shoving each other.’
      • ‘Flames quickly surrounded hundreds of revellers packed inside the tiny dance club, triggering a stampede to escape, fire officials said.’
      • ‘Their release created a stampede of users to Windows Update, resulting in slow response times yesterday.’
      • ‘Property developers are rushing to release high-end flats in the wake of the stampede for units at Henderson Land Development's Grand Promenade project.’
      • ‘This memory came just in time, enabling her to dive out of the way to avoid being immediately trampled by the sudden stampede of the rest of the Callisto family into the kitchen.’
      • ‘So popular he is that people, young and old, rush in a stampede to collect a baseball hat bearing his name and signatures of his trainer and jockey.’
      • ‘Back at the Cafe Kronborg as the crowd built up, the smells of the food put an edge to the appetite, until the normal food rush became a stampede.’
      • ‘In a climate of fad diets and food fears, the soy market has thrived on the stampede away from animal foods - in this case, real milk and real meat.’
      • ‘There were reports of desperate stampedes as people rushed to get off trains and out of stations.’
      • ‘Soon, adult voices began calling out to each other, and the girls backed against the wall of the candy shop to avoid a sudden stampede.’
      • ‘The way film-makers have grappled with that challenge - first avoiding it, then rushing at it in a collective stampede - is not just a story about the evolution of the cinema.’
      • ‘Fighting and shooting broke out, triggering a panicked stampede in which several people were trampled to death.’
      • ‘They lost the child in a stampede of people rushing to higher ground.’
      • ‘Shortly after they opened the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, a rumour about its imminent collapse triggered a panicked stampede that killed 12 people.’
      • ‘Jonine ducked behind me, her chin bumping into my shoulder as a sudden stampede of underclassmen came pushing past from the other direction.’
      • ‘A section of fencing was broken down and advertising hoardings flattened in the stampede as rival fans charged from end to end of the pitch.’
      • ‘Brands took to the mountains, bike trails, ski slopes and other destinations in a stampede of marketers trying to flee the clutter of the mass market.’
      • ‘So you need to buy it right away and avoid the stampede of enthused blog readers who will undoubtedly rush to order the book now!’
    2. 1.2often in names A rodeo.
      ‘the Calgary Stampede’
      • ‘For 20 years, "those girls on horses" have entertained crowds at the Greeley Stampede.’
      • ‘Only the top 10 cowboys and cowgirls in each event survive the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour and the Ariat Playoffs to compete at the 8th annual Texas Stampede and the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour Championship.’


[no object]
  • 1(of horses, cattle, or other animals) rush wildly in a sudden mass panic.

    ‘the nearby sheep stampeded as if they sensed impending danger’
    • ‘This year, over-exuberant noise caused the animals to stampede, and several onlookers were seriously injured, including Nobatule's husband.’
    • ‘Llamas, chickens, goats, and other farm animals stampeded in all directions while their owners scuttled to catch their spooked livestock.’
    • ‘This lad plays music so loud, with the windows and front door of his parent's cottage in Quarry Row wide open, that sheep have been seen stampeding over the brow of Tup Fell, more than 1,000 feet and a mile away.’
    • ‘Suddenly, a herd of hideous, strange animals stampeded by, as the strange man next to Jack launched arrows into the group.’
    • ‘Eyewitnesses said the 17 horses stampeded over a tiny bridge on the steep downhill path then tried to get around a sharp left turn.’
    • ‘Once, I found a hole in a fence and sent a herd of sheep stampeding for cover.’
    • ‘At the end of the three-week shoot, the entire village was to be destroyed in a cattle stampede and explosion.’
    • ‘Three horses, two ponies and one fully-grown were stampeding over the area.’
    • ‘This is one of nature's great spectacles: a million and a half animals stampeding across the plains of Africa for days on end.’
    • ‘Every year the entire herd in the park, numbering some 3,000 animals, is rounded-up and stampeded into a series of corrals for veterinary checks and branding.’
    • ‘The cows stampeded in every direction, running with udders slapping against their underbellies as my wild eyed pet snapped at their hoofs.’
    • ‘This is all illustrated with long, lingering shots of gorgeous northern landscapes, reindeer stampeding across vast expanses of ice and tundra.’
    • ‘Also, the cattle are less likely to stampede if it's early in the day.’
    • ‘A sinister cyclops rises above a herd of carousel horses, freed from their constraints and stampeding out of the painting.’
    • ‘If attacked, the herd could stampede, or ‘circle the wagons’ and fend off predators.’
    • ‘It looked like a herd of white buffalo stampeding down on me.’
    • ‘One of the horses bolted - possibly because it had been bitten or stung by an insect - and caused the rest of the animals to stampede.’
    • ‘The Red Cross says most of the injuries were caused by the bulls stampeding.’
    • ‘Suddenly, from nowhere, a rumble starts and he hauls himself into a tree, clinging on as, beneath him, a herd of cattle stampedes across his bedding.’
    • ‘Athena begins to make the suitors scatter like cattle stampeding from a hornet.’
    bolt, charge, rush, flee, take flight, dash, race, career, sweep, run
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of people) move rapidly in a mass.
      ‘the children stampeded through the kitchen, playing tag or hide-and-seek’
      • ‘Bargains or no bargains, in truth British shoppers are hardly stampeding onto US bound flights at present.’
      • ‘Everyone stampeded out of the classroom before Mr. Humphries could give them their English homework.’
      • ‘In a flash, six national diary-trade groups stampeded into federal court, with a whole herd of lawyers to stop the state from implementing this law.’
      • ‘You know, part of it, too, is that they don't want to deal with having to go into a public courthouse, where the cameras are trained on them and people are stampeding down the hallways.’
      • ‘Collectors are stampeding to collect landscapes, wildlife paintings, pictures of horses, cattle images of Native American culture.’
      • ‘When he was done, the actors began stampeding out of the theater like buffalo.’
      • ‘Chaos erupted yesterday morning at Richmond International Raceway as people stampeded through the gates in a rush to buy used iBook laptops for $50 each.’
      • ‘What remained of the Orcs stampeded out to greet them, their rusty weapons held high.’
      • ‘Video footage taken inside the club showed flames licking at foam insulation behind the stage, which erupted into a fast-moving fire that sent fans stampeding for the exits.’
      • ‘This cheap cartoon series has caused a knee-high gold rush, as children stampede to spend their monthly allowance (once known as pocket money) on the cult.’
      • ‘Survivors and Argentine officials say a flare sparked the blaze that sent thousands of people stampeding for the exits.’
      • ‘The people quickly discerned the situation and tried to flee in all directions, stampeding over one another in their attempts to escape.’
      • ‘The elves all swept him away as they stampeded down the tamped dirt road.’
      • ‘There were long but thankfully hilarious speeches and seemingly hundreds of little kids fluttering, pushing and stampeding through adult legs in the semi-darkness.’
      • ‘The try sent the Bulls fans stampeding for the exits.’
      • ‘The final bell rang and a herd of students rushed out of the classroom, stampeding towards their rides home.’
      • ‘Chinese couples had stampeded to get hitched before the Year of the Horse started last week, spooked by a cosmological sign that the coming lunar year bodes ill for newlyweds.’
      • ‘So the big hog feeders and pork processors stampeded to Washington, demanding that members of Congress do something to ‘save their bacon.’’
      • ‘People panicked and stampeded, blows rained down, people fell and hurt themselves in the melee.’
      • ‘As he looks into their eyes he shakes their courage and many flee, stampeding like beasts.’
    2. 1.2with object Cause (people or animals) to rush wildly in a mass panic.
      ‘the raiders stampeded 200 mules’
      figurative ‘don't let them stampede us into anything’
      • ‘It is the kind of appeal that bypasses proper evaluation and assessment, and stampedes the decision-making process.’
      • ‘Early in the battle, the advancing Sioux stampeded their horses.’
      • ‘I think we're doing the wrong thing, however, in letting ourselves be stampeded into taking action now.’
      • ‘Forged discharge papers, wildebeests stampeding patrols - these tales are told casually around campfires and on drives across the veldt.’
      • ‘Well first of all, I would like to know what those things were that stampeded the garden.’
      • ‘Crowds of shoppers stampede their supermarkets.’
      • ‘The sound of chairs dragging across the floor filled the classroom; the mob of students stampeding their way to freedom from the confinements of school.’
      • ‘I think dogs have been in and stampeded them and not let up until they were in the water.’
      • ‘Once they tried to drive a herd of several hundred ponies through the line to disrupt and stampede the pack animals, but the attempt failed.’
      • ‘Rumour has it that some young and not so young poetic ladies stampeded the local Multi Media Centre during the week to create their own Valentine cards.’
      • ‘Pádraig Murphy and Brian Murphy ruled the roost at midfield, while each of their forwards got their name on the scoresheet as they stampeded their way to glory.’
      • ‘There are people stampeded into that kind of a conclusion based on these phony polls.’
      • ‘The Senate rejected a comparable measure in 1998, but in the current hysteria it could be stampeded into upholding the House's ignorant new law.’
      • ‘At the beginning of the week local animals were stampeded and traumatised and as a result one cow - a heifer, died.’
      • ‘Prison guards from the front and back stampeded their way to Diamond Joe and piled on top of him and the Slug until they formed two mounds of blue-uniformed bodies on top of the assailants.’
      • ‘The citizenry of Arlington was stampeded into approving a ½ cent sales tax to build the thing back in the mid-'90s after the Rangers began threatening to depart.’
      • ‘Rankin said: ‘There were suggestions that I had been stampeded into signing the letter, but that's nonsense.’’
      • ‘It is the fourth year the event has been staged in Pamplona in protest against the treatment of bulls, who are stampeded through the streets, prior to the bullfights in which they will be killed.’
      • ‘We all get, sort of, stampeded these days, because, well, it was on the Internet, it was on this cable network, it was in this alternative newspaper, it's out there, we've got to report it.’
      • ‘American moviegoers stampeded box offices, spending over US $200 million on admissions.’


Early 19th century: Mexican Spanish use of Spanish estampida ‘crash, uproar’, of Germanic origin; related to the verb stamp.