Dictionary > Race


(1) A group or population of humans categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics (such as color of skin, eyes, and hair).
(2) A descent from a common heritage, ancestor, breed or stock.
(3) A tribe or family of people sharing a common breed or lineage.
(4) A population of interbreeding species that develops distinct characteristics differing from other populations of the same species, especially as caused by geographical isolation.
(5) (botany)

(a) A variety of distinct character that may be propagated by seed.

(b) A rhizome, especially of ginger.
(6) (zoology) A breed or strain of domesticated animal.
(7) (sports) The act of running, especially in competition or contest of speed.
(8) (geology ) A strong or rapid current of water.
Humans have been categorized into many distinct varieties or races. One of the most common (and an old) subcategorization of human species is the five human races by Blumenbach: the Caucasian (white race), Mongolian (yellow race), Ethiopian (negro race), American (red race), and the Malayan (brown race). At present, such classification is disputed to have no biological validity. The biological context of the term race is only widely accepted when used to refer to a subspecies arising from a partially isolated reproductive population and thus share a considerable degree of genetic similarity. An example is the African wildcat, which is a subspecies of the domesticated cat.
Word origin: Old French, from Old Italian razza, race, lineage.

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