American English

Definition of race noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] race (between A and B) race (against somebody) a competition between people, animals, vehicles, etc. to see which one is the faster or fastest a race between the two best runners of the club Who won the race? He's already in training for the big race against Bailey. Their horse finished third in the race last year. a boat/horse/road, etc. race a five-kilometer race Let's have a race to the end of the beach! see also drag race, horse race
  2. 2[singular] a situation in which a number of people, groups, organizations, etc. are competing, especially for political power or to achieve something first race (for something) the race for the presidency race (to do something) The race is on (= has begun) to find a cure for the disease. see also rat race
  3. for horses
  4. 3the races [plural] a series of horse races that happen at one place on a particular day to go to the races
  5. people
  6. 4[countable, uncountable] one of the main groups that humans can be divided into according to their physical differences, for example the color of their skin the Caucasian/Mongolian, etc. race people of mixed race This custom is found in people of all races throughout the world. legislation against discrimination on the grounds of race or sex
  7. 5[countable] a group of people who share the same language, history, culture, etc. the Nordic races He admired Canadians as a hardy and determined race. see also human race
  8. animals/plants
  9. 6[countable] a breed or type of animal or plant a race of cattle
  10. Topic CollocationsRace and Immigrationprejudice and racism experience/encounter racism/discrimination/prejudice/anti-Semitism face/suffer from persecution/discrimination fear/escape from/flee racial/political/religious persecution constitute/be a form of racial discrimination reflect/reveal/show/have a racial/cultural bias be biased/be prejudiced against people of color/African Americans/Latinos/Native Americans/Asians, etc. discriminate against minority groups/minorities perpetuate/conform to/fit/defy a common/popular/traditional/negative stereotype overcome/be blinded by deep-seated/racial prejudice entrench/perpetuate racist attitudes hurl/shout a(n) racist/racial/ethnic slur challenge/confront racism/discrimination/prejudice combat/fight (against)/tackle blatant/overt/covert/subtle/institutional/systemic racismrace and society damage/improve race relations practice (racial/religious) tolerance/segregation overcome/bridge/break down/transcend cultural/racial barriers encourage/promote social integration outlaw/end discrimination/slavery/segregation promote/embrace/celebrate cultural/ethnic diversity conform to/challenge/violate (accepted/established/prevailing/dominant) social/cultural norms live in a multicultural society/a cosmopolitan city attack/criticize multiculturalism fight for/struggle for/promote racial equality perpetuate/reinforce economic and social inequality introduce/be for/be against affirmative action accuse somebody of reverse discrimation support/be active in/play a leading role in the civil rights movementimmigration control/restrict/limit/encourage immigration attract/draw a wave of immigrants assist/welcome refugees house/shelter refugees and asylum seekers smuggle illegal immigrants into the U.S. deport/repatriate illegal immigrants/those denied refugee status assimilate/integrate new immigrants employ/hire migrant workers exploit/rely on (cheap/illegal) migrant/foreign labor/workers apply for/gain/obtain/be granted/be denied (full) citizenship have/hold dual citizenshipIdioms
    a one, two, three, etc. horse race
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    a competition or an election in which there are only one, two, etc. teams or candidates with a chance of winning The women's tennis championship was a two horse race between last year's winners New Rochelle and the previous champions Hyde Park.
    a race against time/the clock
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    a situation in which you have to do something or finish something very fast before it is too late Getting food to the starving refugees is now a race against time.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: race