1. An athletic training technique, used especially in running, in which periods of intense effort alternate with periods of less strenuous effort in a continuous workout.
2. A workout using this technique.
[Swedish, speed play : fart, running, speed (from fara, to go, move, from Old Norse; see per-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + lek, play (from leka, to play, from Old Norse leika).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.