Old English hyrdel "frame of intertwined twigs used as a temporary barrier," diminutive of hyrd "door," from Proto-Germanic *hurdiz "wickerwork frame, hurdle" (source also of Old Saxon hurth "plaiting, netting," Dutch horde "wickerwork," German Hürde "hurdle, fold, pen;" Old Norse hurð, Gothic haurds "door"), from PIE *krtis (source also of Latin cratis "hurdle, wickerwork," Greek kartalos "a kind of basket," kyrtos "fishing creel"), from root *kert- "to weave, twist together" (source also of Sanskrit krt "to spin").
Used as temporary fencing in agriculture. Sense of "barrier to jump in a race" is by 1822 (hurdle-race also is from 1822); hurdles as a type of race (originally horse race) with hurdles as obstacles is attested by 1836. Figurative sense of "obstacle" is 1924.
pertaining to the monstrous race in Irish mythology, 1876, from Irish fomor "pirate, monster," from fo "under" + mor "sea." Cognate with Gaelic famhair.
in Hindu mythology, a race of serpent demons, offspring of Kaduru, guardians of the under-regions; 1785, from Sanskrit naga "serpent, snake," a word of unknown origin.
"race, lineage, stock from the same parentage" (originally of animals), 1550s, from breed (v.). Of persons, from 1590s. The meaning "kind, species" is from 1580s.
"one of the race of giants in Scandinavian mythology," 1804, a word revived by scholars from Old Norse jotunn "a giant," from the common Germanic word (see ettin).