AskDefine | Define stampede

Dictionary Definition



1 a headlong rush of people on a common impulse; "when he shouted `fire' there was a stampede to the exits"
2 a wild headlong rush of frightened animals (horses or cattle)


1 cause to run in panic; "Thunderbolts can stampede animals"
2 cause a group or mass of people to act on an impulse or hurriedly and impulsively; "The tavern owners stampeded us into overeating"
3 act, usually en masse, hurriedly or on an impulse; "Companies will now stampede to release their latest software"
4 run away in a stampede

User Contributed Dictionary



estampida (in America) a stampede, estampido a crackling, akin to estampar to stamp, of German origin.


  1. A wild, headlong scamper, or running away, of a number of animals; usually caused by fright; hence, any sudden flight or dispersion, as of a crowd or an army in consequence of a panic.
    She and her husband would join in the general stampede. -W. Black.


  1. To run away in a panic; said of cattle, horses, etc., also of armies.
  2. To disperse by causing sudden fright, as a herd or drove of animals.


To run away in panic; of cattle, horses; of armies
To disperse by causing sudden fright, as a herd
Translations to be checked

Extensive Definition

A stampede is an act of mass impulse among herd animals or a crowd of people in which the herd (or crowd) collectively begins running with no clear direction or purpose. Stampedes are believed to originate from biological responses in the brains and endocrine systems of herd animals. The response is believed to have evolved to help animals escape predators.
A large stampede will frequently eliminate anything in its path. In farmed animals, herd managers, sometimes called cowboys, attempt to turn the moving herd into itself, so that it runs in circles rather than self-destructing by running over a cliff or into a river, or from damaging human life or property by overrunning human settlements.
Specific animals associated with stampede behaviour are cattle, elephants, Blue Wildebeests and wild horses.

Human stampedes

The term stampede, also known as a crush or trampling, commonly describes a sudden rush of a crowd of people, usually resulting in many injuries and death from suffocation and trampling. Human stampedes most often occur during religious pilgrimages, professional sporting and music events. They also often occur in times of mass panic, as a result of a fire or explosion, as people try to get away.
The annual Muslim Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which is attended by millions of pilgrims, has increasingly suffered from stampedes and other disasters, even as authorities have constructed new walkways and instituted other traffic controls to prevent them. The worst documented stampede in modern history happened at the 1990 Hajj, when over 1400 people died in a tunnel.

List of human stampedes


stampede in German: Stampede
stampede in French: Bousculade
stampede in Croatian: Stampedo
stampede in Dutch: Stormloop
stampede in Portuguese: Stampede

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abject fear, accelerate, affright, alarm, awe, blue funk, boggle, bolt, bundle, bustle, charge, chase, confound, consternation, cowardice, crash, crowd, dash, discomfit, dismay, dispatch, dread, drive on, expedite, fear, fight shy, flee, flight, fling, forward, fright, frighten, funk, haste, hasten, hasten on, hie on, horrification, horror, hurry, hurry along, hurry on, hurry up, hustle, hustle up, jib, jump, jump a mile, panic, panic fear, phobia, precipitate, press, push, push on, push through, put in fear, put to flight, put to rout, quicken, race, railroad through, rout, run, rush, rush along, scare, scatter, scattering, send scuttling, shoot, shy, skedaddle, speed, speed along, speed up, spur, start, start aside, startle, take flight, tear, terror, unholy dread, urge, whip, whip along
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