Breaking the barrier: Hurdle vs. hurtle

Hurdle vs. hurtle are two similar sounding words that often get confused.

“Hurdle” can have a couple of meanings. As a verb, it means to “leap” or “overcome.” So, “Liam hurdled over the mud puddle as he ran down the road.” As a noun, it means an “obstacle” or “barrier.” To wit, “Liam found the mud puddles were no great hurdles to his getaway.”

“Hurtle” means to “throw with great force” or “move with great speed.” For example, “Emily hurtled a rock at the approaching bear” and “Emily hurtled through the woods as the bear chased her.”


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.