Definition of run in English:

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Pronunciation: /rʌn/

verb (runs, running; past ran /ran/; past participle run)

1 [no object] Move at a speed faster than a walk, never having both or all the feet on the ground at the same time: the dog ran across the road she ran the last few yards, breathing heavily he hasn’t paid for his drinks—run and catch him
More example sentences
  • He rushed downstairs in his bare feet and ran outside on to the snowy street.
  • Jobs used to be more physical and kids walked to school and ran about outside rather than playing on computers.
  • The way the cars are parked, there's only inches either side of you and you're worrying in case a child or a dog comes running out from between the cars.
sprint, race, dart, rush, dash, hasten, hurry, scurry, scuttle, scamper, hare, bolt, bound, fly, gallop, career, charge, pound, shoot, hurtle, speed, streak, whizz, zoom, sweep, go like lightning, go hell for leather, go like the wind, flash, double;
jog, lope, trot, jogtrot, dogtrot
informal tear, pelt, scoot, hotfoot it, leg it, belt, zip, whip, go like a bat out of hell, step on it, get a move on, get cracking, put on some speed, stir one's stumps
British informal hop it, bomb
North American informal boogie, hightail it, barrel, get the lead out
informal, dated cut along
archaic post, hie
1.1Run as a sport or for exercise: I run every morning
More example sentences
  • John was also a keen judo exponent but he injured his knee and could not keep fit by running.
  • All of Campbell's children are involved in sport and it was they who persuaded him to start running while on holiday three years ago.
  • Boxers normally exercise, run and spend hours in the sauna to lose weight.
1.2(Of an athlete or a racehorse) compete in a race: she ran in the 200 metres [with object]: Dave has run 42 marathons
More example sentences
  • The British athlete ran a personal best to win the 400m and gain a one point lead over his rivals.
  • Athletes must run three of the four races to qualify for overall prize.
  • Spanish athlete Morta Dominguez ran superbly to take the silver ahead of Ethiopia's Ayelech Worko who won the bronze.
compete, take part, participate;
enter, be in
1.3 [with object] Enter (a racehorse) for a race: I’m hoping to run him in the Portland Handicap
More example sentences
  • Willie Mullins runs Rule Supreme in today's Ladbrokes' World Hurdle, but has also left him in the Gold Cup.
  • Dermot Weld has won the race five times, most recently with Refuse To Bend two years ago, and he runs Elusive Double in the same colours.
  • Any trainer who wants to run a horse in any race must log that entry with Weatherbys.
1.4 Cricket (Of a batsman) run from one wicket to the other in scoring or attempting to score a run.
Example sentences
  • Lineker and Cooper held the run rate to three per over, while the batsmen ran very well between the wickets, keeping pressure on the fielders.
  • The last ball of the over was hit in the air - the batsmen ran - the fielder dropped it!
  • He ran excellently between the wickets as well, especially in the last few overs.
1.5 [with object] West Indian Chase (someone) away: Ah went tuh eat the mangoes but the people run mih
1.6(Of a boat) sail straight and fast directly before the wind: we slanted across to the far bank and ran before the wind
More example sentences
  • The wind blew from the north and the ship ran swiftly before the wind.
1.7(Of a migratory fish) go upriver from the sea in order to spawn.
Example sentences
  • This means that when the fish are running (right now in May and June for instance) there is a heavy demand for guides.
  • Beats higher up the river are often more prolific this late in the season with fish running hard to the middle and upper stretches.
  • There are still fresh spring fish running, and the grilse are beginning to arrive in numbers, with a lot of small fish among them.
2Pass or cause to pass quickly in a particular direction: [no object, with adverbial of direction]: the rumour ran through the pack of photographers [with object and adverbial of direction]: Helen ran her fingers through her hair
More example sentences
  • As he passed the bed, he ran his fingers along the silk embroidered bedspread.
  • Colin reached out a finger and ran it down her bare back.
  • He ran his finger down Amber's arm sending a chill down her spine.
go, pass, move, travel;
roll, coast
cast, pass, skim, flick, slide
2.1 [no object] Move about in a hurried and hectic way: I’ve spent the whole day running round after the kids
More example sentences
  • The filming schedule was so hectic and she was running from shoot to shoot.
  • Most people seemed to be either arguing with each other over what to buy who, or frantically running round desperate to find things to buy.
  • The world is a dangerous enough place now without letting idiots run round with explosives.
2.2Move or cause to move forcefully or with a particular result: [no object, with adverbial of direction]: the tanker ran aground off the Shetlands [with object and adverbial of direction]: a woman ran a pushchair into the back of my legs
More example sentences
  • It was the Exxon Valdez which ran aground on the Alaskan coast in 1989 spilling 40 million litres of crude oil.
  • Scientists believe it ran aground on the estuary's treacherous sandbanks and capsized with 50 or 60 hands on deck.
  • The tanker ran aground on the eastern-most island in the Galpagos group.
2.3 [with object] informal Fail to stop at (a red traffic light): cameras triggered by cars running red lights at intersections
More example sentences
  • Then one night two years ago, Aaron was driving one of their friends home from their house when a drunk driver ran a stop light and hit the car.
  • Two young men on a motorcycle were stopped for running a red light on Pattaya Central Road.
  • Some 220 of the fatal accidents were caused by people running red lights or stop signs.
2.4 [with object] chiefly North American Navigate (rapids or a waterfall) in a boat: the boats were preparing to run the big rapids
More example sentences
  • Ten boats, each manned by two skilled operators with up to eight passengers, can be hired to run the rapids.
  • In short, he has both the strength and skill to run any whitewater that's runnable.
  • The other trainees ran the rapid again and again; I pitched a tent and crawled into my sleeping bag.
3(With reference to a liquid) flow or cause to flow: [no object, with adverbial of direction]: a small river runs into the sea at one side of the castle [with object]: she ran cold water into a basin
More example sentences
  • This is not like the tsunami, or normal floods, where the water runs back into the sea when it's done.
  • Cold water ran from the faucet as he washed his face in an attempt to wake up.
  • Even our garden is getting wet and there is nowhere for the water to run.
flow, pour, stream, gush, flood, glide, cascade, spurt, jet, issue;
roll, course, slide, spill, trickle, seep, drip, dribble, leak
British informal sloosh
3.1 [with object] Cause water to flow over: I ran my hands under the tap
More example sentences
  • I marched over to the sink, turned on the lukewarm water and ran my arms under it.
  • If you run it under hot water you will also find that when you leave it to dry in the cutlery drainer it will dry off quicker and have fewer streaks.
  • I rip the lid off the bottle of shampoo and run it under the water to try and get the last drop out.
3.2 [with object] Fill (a bath) with water: [with two objects]: I’ll run you a nice hot bath
More example sentences
  • I wandered into the bathroom and began to run the bath, filling it with hot water.
  • Back in the sanctuary of my dimly-lit rooms I ran the bath, stripped off and sank into the water.
  • Giles said he was running a bath and it had almost overflowed.
3.3 [no object] (run with) Be covered or streaming with (a liquid): his face was running with sweat
More example sentences
  • Tin shanties litter the backyards of the more formal brick housing, rows of chemical toilets stand outside homes, and the untarred roads run with streams of filthy water.
  • For some two hours, we drove on rutted gravel running with rainwater.
  • He collapsed onto the bed, his face running with sweat.
stream with, drip with, be covered with, be wet with;
be flooded by
3.4 [no object] Emit or exude a liquid: she was weeping and her nose was running
More example sentences
  • About a half hour later, my nose started running.
  • A few minutes later, my nose is running, I'm sneezing and coughing, and there are sharp pains behind my eyes.
  • His head aches, he feels dizzy and nauseous, and his nose won't stop running.
stream, drip, exude/secrete/ooze liquid
3.5 [no object] (Of a solid substance) melt and become fluid: it was so hot that the butter ran
More example sentences
  • Her black mascara was running and she knew she looked horrible.
3.6 [no object] (Of the sea, the tide, or a river) rise higher or flow more quickly: there was still a heavy sea running
More example sentences
  • The base of the cliff is heavily undercut, so you certainly do not want to be here on a stormy day or when a full spring ebb tide is running.
  • If the tide is running, a large shoal of bib will probably be holding position here against the current that surges through beneath the wreck.
  • The bottom was barely visible in the gloom and there was a reasonable tide running.
3.7 [no object] (Of dye or colour in fabric or paper) dissolve and spread when the fabric or paper becomes wet: the red dye ran when the socks were washed
More example sentences
  • Their dye never ran, which is what made all their products sought after.
  • Dry-cleaning also prevents the common problem of the dye bleeding and running.
  • I thought that I had prewashed out all the excess dye but it ran anyway.
4Extend or cause to extend in a particular direction: [no object, with adverbial of direction]: cobbled streets run down to a tiny harbour [with object and adverbial of direction]: he ran a wire under the carpet
More example sentences
  • St James's Street runs uphill from Pall Mall and the Palace to Piccadilly.
  • Taxis will be diverted to Wigmore Street, which runs parallel to Oxford Street.
  • The last time I had been there, Church Street, which runs north and south, had been a broad and busy avenue.
extend, stretch, reach, range, continue, go
4.1 [no object] chiefly North American (Of a stocking or pair of tights) develop a ladder.
5 [no object] (Of a bus, train, ferry, or other form of transport) make a regular journey on a particular route: buses run into town every half hour
More example sentences
  • On New Year's Eve, normal buses stop running around 7pm and trains at around 8pm.
  • The bus runs between Erith town centre and Trafalgar Square.
  • Buses ran between Doncaster and Peterborough to reduce overcrowding on trains.
travel, ply, shuttle, go, make a regular journey
5.1 [with object] Put (a form of public transport) in service: the group is drawing up plans to run trains on key routes
More example sentences
  • A villager has criticised the rail service which runs trains to and from his rural community, claiming the transport needs of people living in the countryside are being ignored.
  • As well as the Manchester Airport services, it runs trains from Liverpool to Hull and Newcastle and Manchester Piccadilly to Cleethorpes.
  • The firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dutch state-owned NS train operator, which runs the majority of services in the Netherlands.
5.2 [with object and adverbial of direction] Take (someone) somewhere in a car: I’ll run you home
More example sentences
  • First Buses, which runs children to and from Prince Henry's Grammar School, says the school's tough discipline policy makes life easier for its drivers.
  • I feel sorry for her, as she spends all her time running me to classes.
  • Here's my car ... can I run you home?
drive, give someone a lift, take, bring, ferry, chauffeur;
transport, convey
6 [with object] Be in charge of; manage: Andrea runs her own catering business (as adjective, in combination -run) an attractive family-run hotel
More example sentences
  • Christine returned to Dawson Fold to help her father manage the farm and run the shop.
  • From that time he has managed and run his business from Hong Kong where his principal activity is in shipping.
  • Currently Mr Gutman is running the firm by himself, but he hopes to have employed several staff members in the next couple of years.
be in charge of, manage, administer, direct, control, be in control of, be the boss of, boss, head, lead, govern, supervise, superintend, oversee, look after, organize, coordinate, regulate;
operate, conduct, carry on, own;
preside over, officiate at
6.1 [no object, with adverbial] (Of a system, organization, or plan) operate or proceed in a particular way: everything’s running according to plan
More example sentences
  • His job was to ensure the company's IT system ran smoothly.
  • If your investment plan is running smoothly, you probably don't have to fiddle with it.
  • If the world economy were running smoothly then it would not be a serious problem.
6.2Organize, implement, or carry out: we decided to run a series of seminars
More example sentences
  • We contacted a doctor who ran a series of tests on Erin at his office.
  • Bexley Centre for the Unemployed is running a free course in food hygiene in the Boys Brigade hall next to Christ Church in Bexleyheath Broadway.
  • GM currently is running a pilot program in Brazil and investigating plans for Australia and Japan.
carry out, do, perform, fulfil, execute
6.3Own, maintain, and use (a vehicle): he could no longer afford to run a car
More example sentences
  • With servicing and maintenance paid for in advance, the cost of running the vehicle each year becomes much more predictable.
  • Transport, our biggest expense, includes buying and running a vehicle, plus fares for public transport.
  • Drivers are also concerned at the rising cost of running their vehicles.
maintain, keep, own, possess, have, drive
7Be in or cause to be in operation; function or cause to function: [no object]: the car runs on unleaded fuel [with object]: the modem must be run off a mains transformer
More example sentences
  • Schumacher managed to keep the engine running after the collision.
  • While the hospital runs off a generator, kindergartens have no generators or power.
  • Do not run your auto in the garage, not even to warm it up.
operate, function, work, go, be in operation;
tick over, idle;
perform, behave
7.1Move or cause to move between the spools of a recording machine: [with object]: I ran the tape back
More example sentences
  • When the show aired, I recorded it onto a 3/4" videotape and I don't think I've run the tape since that night.
  • Brendan ran the tape back a few inches, turned the VCR on again and watched the girls at work a second time.
8 [no object] Continue or be valid or operative for a particular period of time: the course ran for two days this particular debate will run and run
More example sentences
  • There was a similar operation last year which ran for a short period of time.
  • The scheme ran for a period of 5 years and at the end of this period the properties were sold.
  • He was the grumpy old hero of One Foot in the Grave, a TV sit-com that ran for ten years and seized the hearts and minds of his fans all over the Kingdom.
be valid, last, be in effect, operate, be in operation, be operative, be current, continue, be effective, have force, have effect
8.1 [with adverbial or complement] Happen or arrive at the specified time: the programme was running fifteen minutes late
More example sentences
  • All the sentences will run concurrently, giving him a total of three months behind bars.
  • He was given two years for grievous bodily harm and 28 days for the drug offence, the sentences to run concurrently.
  • Francis was jailed for nine years for the first attack and 15 for the second, the sentences to run concurrently.
8.2(Of a play or exhibition) be staged or presented: the play ran at Stratford last year
More example sentences
  • The play runs until Saturday, October 23, in Studio 2, with performances each evening at 7.45 pm.
  • The panto runs from Wednesday to Friday at 7.15 pm with Saturday matinees at 2pm and 6pm.
  • The play runs from Monday to the following Saturday at 7.30 pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30 pm.
be staged, be presented, be performed, be on, be put on, be produced;
be mounted;
be screened;
9 [no object] Pass into or reach a specified state or level: inflation is running at 11 per cent [with complement]: the decision ran counter to previous government commitments
More example sentences
  • Analysts said the stocks were settling to more sustainable levels after running too far ahead recently.
  • And that agenda runs entirely counter to what I feel a lot of Mainers think they're voting for when they vote for these people.
  • But this sentiment runs completely counter to the intent of the U.S. Constitution.
10 [no object] (run in) (Of a quality, trait, or condition) be common or inherent in members of (a family), especially over several generations: weight problems run in my family
More example sentences
  • Artistic ability runs in the family - in 1974 Sarah won the same competition.
  • If athletic prowess runs in the Stewart family, however, so does dedication.
  • Madeleine's mum Rowena says her daughter's love of books runs in the family.
be common in, be frequently found in, be inherent in
11 [no object] Stand as a candidate in an election: he announced that he intended to run for President
More example sentences
  • In 1996, he ran as a candidate in Western Canadian provincial and civic elections.
  • Burton, a civil rights lawyer in Los Angeles, ran as a candidate in Tuesday's election.
  • Collier ran unsuccessfully for the Upper House at the last election.
stand for, stand for election as, stand as a candidate for, be a contender for, put oneself forward for, put oneself up for
11.1 [with object] (Especially of a political party) sponsor (a candidate) in an election: they ran their first independent candidate at the Bromley by-election
More example sentences
  • In fact, six opposition parties ran candidates (although three pulled out at the last minute).
  • If the party chooses to run only two candidates, it is certain they will come from either side of the constituency.
  • Te party wants to run two candidates with a national profile.
12Publish or be published in a newspaper or magazine: [with object]: the tabloid press ran the story [no object]: when the story ran, there was a big to-do
More example sentences
  • Tabloid newspapers are running lurid accounts of his battle with cancer.
  • A fortnight ago, this very newspaper ran the story about Livingston's financial plight.
  • Recently, Vancouver's Province newspaper ran a story that took me completely by surprise.
publish, print, feature, carry, put out, release, issue
12.1 [no object] (Of a saying, argument, piece of writing, etc.) have a specified wording: ‘Tapestries slashed!’ ran the dramatic headline
More example sentences
  • The very first paragraph of my book The Truth about Writing runs as follows.
  • There's an old saying that runs along the lines of ‘no publicity is bad publicity’.
  • CD copying is not just illegal, runs the argument, but immoral.
13 [with object] Bring (goods) into a country illegally and secretly; smuggle: they run drugs for the cocaine cartels
More example sentences
  • When she took them to the man she was running the drugs for, he told her to give one package to an Australian girl.
  • Known as ‘tunnel rats’, they run drugs for the cocaine cartels.
  • Greene began building a drug empire, using Spain as a staging post to run drugs into Europe from north Africa.
smuggle, traffic in, deal in
14 [with two objects] North American Cost (someone) (a specified amount): a new photocopier will run us about $1,300
More example sentences
  • He wants Malone to reimburse him for the cost of the ticket, which he says ran him $25,000.
  • With a drink or two and dessert, a complete dinner for two, including appetizer and entrée, will run you in the neighborhood of $100.
  • The food here at the ski village is exactly what you would expect … several pub houses, your basic fast food chains, and upper class joints that can run you up to $100 for two.
15West Indian Provide: the wait-and-see game continues until the government runs some ready cash
15.1Provide pasture for (sheep or cattle); raise (livestock): they ran sheep and cattle
More example sentences
  • My wife has been running cattle for 35 years.
  • Don Armstrong runs sheep at Yalda Downs in outback New South Wales.
  • Linn Blancett and his wife, Tweeti, have been running cattle here for much of their lives.


1An act or spell of running: I usually go for a run in the morning a cross-country run
More example sentences
  • He also recalls cross-country runs around the very wet and muddy field where the supermarket now stands, and which he thinks the school owned.
  • She will have to do cross-country runs and swim in the outdoor pool.
  • Everyone, however, must do the dreaded cross-country runs.
sprint, race, dash, gallop, rush, spurt;
jog, trot
1.1A running pace: Rory set off at a run
More example sentences
  • They looked at each other and set off at a run, the girl trailing behind them, and the boy behind her.
  • He hit the ground at a run, not even pausing to pick his backpack up from where he had dropped it in the dirt.
  • Jake scrambled downstairs at a run and launched himself at Jonathan with a cry of joy.
1.2An annual mass migration of fish up or down a river: the annual salmon runs
More example sentences
  • Fish runs attract pinnipeds, which attract great whites.
  • Crowds of people and predators greet the arrival of many fish spawning runs.
  • Maritz said shad runs were unlike the annual sardine run, where the smaller fish were trapped between warm currents and the land.
2A journey accomplished or route taken by a vehicle, aircraft, or boat, especially on a regular basis: the London-Liverpool run
More example sentences
  • The problem of vehicles on the school run jamming up roads was being discussed by councillors this afternoon.
  • Most of those who pass it will do so habitually: commuters going in and out of the city, commercial drivers doing regular runs from one depot or customer to another.
  • Is your school run part of your journey to work or do you need a second journey for it?
route, way, course, journey;
circuit, round, beat
2.1A short excursion made in a car: we could take a run out to the country
More example sentences
  • As it's been such a nice day, after having had lunch at Blairmains this afternoon I thought it would be nice to go for a run in the car, so we headed off northwards to Callander, where we had a nice walk around and some ice cream in the sunshine.
  • We went for a run in the car and ended up in Bundoran so we went bowling.
  • Yesterday, Val came for lunch and then we went for a run out to Milngavie to the Garden Centre and came home laden with purple and yellow primulas for the balcony.
drive, ride, turn;
trip, excursion, outing, jaunt, short journey, airing
informal spin, joyride, tootle
Scottish informal hurl
2.2The distance covered in a specified period, especially by a ship: a record run of 398 miles from noon to noon
More example sentences
  • With following winds reaching 42 knots we surfed up Clarence Strait, across Sumner Strait and didn't have headwinds until the last few miles into tiny Louise Cove on Kuiu Island, a day's run of 110 miles.
2.3A short flight made by an aircraft on a straight and even course at a constant speed before or while dropping bombs: bombing runs by B52s
More example sentences
  • This was now a critical phase of the bomb run and a time when the formation was most vulnerable.
  • One day we were in a position in the formation where it was logical for the copilot to fly the bomb run.
  • They were now going to make a desperate run towards their target, bomb it, and get the hell out.
3An opportunity or attempt to achieve something: their absence means the Russians will have a clear run at the title
More example sentences
  • We are trying to win every game but we will continue to give as many lads a run as possible and we'll continue to experiment as much as we can.
  • As we are currently holding second place in the Eastern Centre Championship, we are hoping to have a good run at this one to see if we can overtake the current holder of this title.
  • At least that way we could pick up on points that we have learned in the first year and have a good run at developing the project further over two, three, four or five years.
3.1A preliminary test of a procedure or system: if you are styling your hair yourself, have a practice run
More example sentences
  • Several test runs are being done before the formal opening.
  • Some of the more impressive test runs can be seen in these videos from Georgia Tech and Stanford University.
  • It was a little project that he had been working on, and he figured it was time to give the pen a test run.
3.2An attempt to secure election to political office: his run for the Republican nomination
More example sentences
  • Although this is his first run for elected office, Nolla is not a political novice.
  • The obvious consequence is that only people with money or with access to money can make serious runs for public office.
  • He firmly denied any suggestion that he had struck a deal in return for giving his fellow Right-winger the prospect of a clear run.
4A continuous spell of a particular situation or condition: he’s had a run of bad luck
More example sentences
  • Leah tells Dan that she can't believe her current run of bad luck.
  • In the midst of this current run of bad form, some things haven't changed of course.
  • We sat in the living room one night, talking about our run of bad luck and neither of us said it but we knew.
period, spell, stretch, spate, bout;
patch, interval, time;
series, succession, sequence, string, chain, streak
4.1A continuous series of performances: the play had a long run in the West End
More example sentences
  • Palace are three points adrift at the bottom on a run of five defeats, but Dowie insists the league table should be no shock.
  • Gaelic Players Chicago and Tara Theatre Company, Winnipeg, have had sellout runs with the play over the past twelve months and Westport Drama Group became the first Irish group to stage the play last April.
  • Still, they both extended their unbeaten runs to five matches.
4.2A quantity or amount of something produced at one time: a production run of only 150 cars
More example sentences
  • This is not too bad when the number of components is relatively small, or the production runs are relatively large.
  • We do not know what their production runs were, but this is stuff you can keep.
  • On the other hand, he says, the production runs tie up money.
4.3A continuous stretch or length of something: long runs of copper piping
More example sentences
  • A good long run of CW1308 cable can be used for ADSL; 50m can typically be easily achieved without any noticeable degradation.
  • Place a separate order for each run of cable needed.
  • Wire adjusters are a means of shortening or extending the length of the wires that run out to the signals, because changes in the weather can have a substantial effect on a long run of wire.
4.4A rapid series of musical notes forming a scale.
Example sentences
  • His voice retains its evenness in all registers, and he cleanly articulates Vivaldi's most difficult runs and fioriture.
  • The first movement moves to a too-stately tread, although the 16th note runs are light enough.
  • His tone and legato playing are ravishing, and his execution of the composer's florid runs and other figurations is smooth.
4.5A sequence of cards of the same suit.
Example sentences
  • The commonest type is a run, or unbroken sequence of cards in a suit.
  • As in most rummy games, the possible melds are sets of equal cards and runs of consecutive cards in the same suit.
  • The player must specify (if it is not clear) whether the meld is a run or a set, the rank of the set, and the rank and suit of a run.
5 (a run on) A widespread and sudden demand for (a commodity) or a widespread trading in (a currency): there’s been a big run on nostalgia toys this year
More example sentences
  • Two years back this newspaper carried a story suggesting a serious run on the dollar was becoming a distinct possibility.
  • The threat of disruptions in gasoline supply due to Hurricane Ike sparked a run on gas last Thursday and Friday.
  • Nervous motorists start stockpiling fuel, causing a run on petrol, which in turn sparks yet more panic buying.
5.1A sudden demand for repayment from (a bank) made by a large number of lenders: growing nervousness among investors led to a run on some banks
More example sentences
  • The participants called for the formulation of guidelines for journalists to prevent them from publishing alarming stories that contribute to runs on commercial banks.
  • Uruguay floated its currency late last month following a run on banks and a plunge in foreign reserves.
  • The merchant community organized a run on the banks, and the Government gave in.
demand for, rush for, sudden request for, clamour for
6 (the run) The average or usual type of person or thing: she stood out from the general run of Tory women
More example sentences
  • What lifts this movie above the usual run of dutifully sweet romantic comedies is the bright, fantasy-friendly sensibility of its two directors, Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini.
  • Plato realizes that the general run of humankind can think, and speak, etc., without (so far as they acknowledge) any awareness of his realm of Forms.
  • It is also to help new generations discover that they are not that different from the common run of humanity.
type, kind, sort, variety, class, category, order
6.1The general tendency of something: quite against the run of play, Smith scored an early try
More example sentences
  • Thankfully the incident did not divert the attention of either side from the main goal of winning the game though the hold-up was to have a significant bearing on the run of play.
  • Fortunately the U.S. managed to get a third goal against the run of play to seal the game.
  • It is only in the last decade that the industry has begun to appreciate and champion the importance of old trees that have survived against the run of forestry fashion.
trend, tendency, course, direction, movement, drift, tide, current;
7A sloping snow-covered course or track used for skiing, bobsleighing, or tobogganing: a ski run
More example sentences
  • Powder hounds won't be disappointed either as there are excellent off-piste skiing and mogul runs, but it's wise to ask for a guide if you take the uncharted option.
  • It's not that expensive with a lot of steep hard runs but plenty of slopes for beginners too.
  • Skiing from 14,000 feet is a special treat: runs are longer; snow lasts longer.
slope, piste, track;
bump run;
North American  trail
7.1A track made or regularly used by a particular animal: a badger run
More example sentences
  • He also learned to read various animal trails, runs, beds and feeding areas and how to track and trap them.
  • Where rabbit-proof fencing cuts across badger runs, particularly near active setts, the badgers are likely to dig under or make holes in the netting, thus allowing rabbits to cross the fence.
  • Trees should be felled away from any holes, main badger runs or obvious latrines.
8An enclosed area in which domestic animals or birds may run freely in the open: an excellent and safe guinea pig run
More example sentences
  • The main breeding cattery is a six- by twelve-metre enclosure, divided into runs.
  • The previous owners had two small dogs and treated this area as a dog run, so it was much flattened and stale when we moved in.
  • We have an enclosed dog run behind our garage where we usually leave the dogs when we are at work.
enclosure, pen, coop, compound
8.1 (the run of) Free and unrestricted use of or access to: her cats were given the run of the house
More example sentences
  • We had the run of this house, a bungalow with long corridors and lots of weird things to play with and things we were told not to touch.
  • Better still, give them the run of the house while you stay in the hotel.
  • We discovered very quickly that he couldn't be given the run of the house.
unrestricted/free use of, unrestricted access to;
a free hand in, a free rein in
8.2Australian /NZ A large open stretch of land used for pasture or the raising of stock: one of the richest cattle runs of the district
More example sentences
  • When the pastoralists pushed north, looking for grazing land and runs for their sheep, Thomas Elder was one of them to take up large leases in the Beltana area.
  • The great cause of conflict was Aborigines taking cattle and sheep from newly established grazing runs.
9 Cricket A unit of scoring achieved by hitting the ball so that both batsmen are able to run between the wickets, or awarded in some other circumstances.
Example sentences
  • His first five balls resulted in eight runs scored for two wickets.
  • They went on to win by four wickets when the winning runs were scored in the 16th over.
  • But in cricket, the batsmen get the runs and bowlers get wickets.
9.1 Baseball A point scored by the batter returning to home plate after touching the other bases.
Example sentences
  • He retired with a total of 649 stolen bases and nearly 1,200 runs scored.
  • The Tigers fared far better in other categories, leading the league with 185 home runs and 671 runs scored.
  • On balance, stolen bases have very little to do with runs scored.
10chiefly North American A ladder in stockings or tights: she had a run in her nylons
More example sentences
  • Her legs were old and worn, tiny blue and purple veins played along the backs of her knees, and stockings with runs as long as the Mississippi fell to her ankles.
  • Take all your tights (check them first for runs and holes) and put them in a lined basket.
  • Seam sealants have a wide variety of uses, including stopping hosiery runs.
ladder, rip, tear, snag, hole
11A downward trickle of paint or a similar substance when applied too thickly: varnish should be applied with care to avoid runs and an uneven surface
More example sentences
  • Apply varnish full strength, taking extra care to avoid runs and sags.
  • This can mean paint runs, sags and wrinkling on vertical surfaces, plus an overall reduced rate of coverage per gallon.
11.1A small stream: a shallow run at the edge of a low rock
More example sentences
  • Then I heard and saw a good rise that was obviously from a much bigger fish at the bottom of a run under some trees.
  • Fall floods seem to have improved the river topography and most who have walked the river suggest the number of runs with fish-holding potential has vastly improved.
12 (the runs) informal Diarrhoea.
Example sentences
  • During the night I had a bad case of the runs.
  • I did have the runs a bit, but never anything like bleeding and I didn't think anything dramatic was wrong.
  • Another thing I always take with me is dirolyte, which is a tablet-form medicine which dissolves in water and is for replacing body vitamins when you have had the runs.
13 Nautical The after part of a ship’s bottom where it rises and narrows towards the stern.
Example sentences
  • Having a coarse run, she carried a huge body of water in her wake, in which the rudder was useless.


On the use of verbs used with and instead of a ‘to’ infinitive, as in run and fetch the paper, see and (usage).



be run off one's feet

see foot.

come running

Be eager to do what someone wants: he had only to crook his finger and she would come running
More example sentences
  • But what will happen if she snaps her fingers, and they do not come running?
  • They can't simply choose which dictators they want toppled and expect us to come running each time.
  • It drove her mad that I didn't come running when she snapped her fingers.

give someone/thing a (good) run for their money

Provide someone or something with challenging competition: they’ve given some of the top teams a run for their money this season
More example sentences
  • She was the British Ladies Rally Champion for three successive years, from 1976 to 1978 and continues to give the competition a run for their money.
  • If there was a civic award for the best cross country ski town in the United States, the Twin Cities would give all competition a run for their money.
  • Nestlé chiefs were staying tight-lipped about the research, but it is believed they are thrilled to be giving Cadbury a run for their money.

have a (good) run for one's money

Derive reward or enjoyment in return for one’s outlay or efforts: investors have also had a good run for their money
More example sentences
  • Companies involved in learning and education performed well and telecommunications also had a good run for its money.
  • Investors have also had a good run for their money: the shares were floated on the Stock Market in 1987 at an equivalent of 45p and yesterday managed to level out at 260p.

on the run

1Trying to avoid being captured: a criminal on the run from the FBI
More example sentences
  • Gotovina is a famous war criminal on the run who has eluded capture.
  • As part of the operation police searched a number of addresses, including one in the Costa del Sol, a notorious haven for British criminals on the run from the UK.
  • The arrested man is a 46-year-old English criminal who is on the run and wanted in Britain.
on the loose, at large, loose;
running away, fleeing, in flight, fugitive
informal AWOL
North American informal on the lam
2While running: he took a pass on the run
More example sentences
  • Federer looks a different player to the one who struggled against Martin Verkerk yesterday and he produces a stunning pass on the run to move to 0-30.
  • Milt Palacio's ability to find teammates on the run and thread passes has helped the offense become more productive.
  • Novak unleashes a forehand passing winner on the run and Henman then double-faults to go 15-40 down.
2.1Continuously busy: I’m on the run every minute of the day
More example sentences
  • Receiving emails by phone is ideal for a busy person on the run.
  • When you're in a hurry and lunch on the run is your only option, where better than Matt Lyons shop on Stephen Street to get a quick bite to bring back to the office.
  • Indigestion is aggravated by ‘hurry sickness’ - eating on the run and bolting down your food.
busy, rushing about, rushed off one's feet, dashing about, hurrying about, in a rush, in a hurry, on the move, active
informal on the go

run before one can walk

Attempt something difficult before one has grasped the basic skills: don’t try to run before you can walk
More example sentences
  • Dr Terry John said that, in rushing into the establishment of PCTs, the government was ignoring the old adage that you should not try to run before you can walk.
  • N - Definitely give it a go but remember, don't run before you can walk.
  • My message to those companies that are concerned with these areas is - don't try to run before you can walk.

run a blockade


run dry

(Of a well or river) cease to flow or have any water.
Example sentences
  • The phrase about not missing water until your river runs dry has never felt so apt.
  • Traffic gridlock is commonplace, air pollution levels are soaring and, most alarmingly, the thirst for water means the mighty Colorado River is increasingly running dry.
  • And last month, more than half of France's 95 local government regions introduced water rationing as rivers began to run dry in the most serious drought to strike the country for 25 years.
8.1(Of a source or supply) be completely used up: municipal relief funds had long since run dry
More example sentences
  • With gas supplies to Ireland from current sources expected to run dry by 2004, the government is anxious for one or more of these projects to get under way.
  • But sometimes, even my goodwill supply runs dry.
  • Extra ale had to be drafted in on Saturday morning for the Campaign for Real Ale's three-day event in the Coronation Hall to make sure supplies did not run dry.

run an errand

Carry out an errand for someone.
Example sentences
  • One week later, Colas, a sixth-grade student of the Lewis Yard Primary School failed to return home after running an errand for his mother who sent him to a nearby house to purchase some items.
  • Closed circuit TV footage from a convenience store near his home showed him running an errand for his mother at 5.02 pm, after which he returned home.
  • She had disappeared while out running an errand for her mother.

(make a) run for it

Attempt to escape someone or something by running away: Catherine wondered whether to make a run for it
More example sentences
  • Sam even made a sad attempt to run for it but Jordan grabbed her.
  • Some people gave themselves up and were arrested, others made breakout attempts, climbing over containers and running for it.
  • The logical choice was to go quietly and hope that she'd be able to escape, but she could also make a run for it if she thought she was fast enough.
flee, make a run for it, run away, run off, take flight, make off, take off, take to one's heels, make a break for it, bolt, beat a (hasty) retreat, make a quick exit, make one's getaway, escape, head for the hills, take oneself off, decamp, abscond, do a disappearing act
informal beat it, clear off, clear out, vamoose, skedaddle, split, cut and run, leg it, show a clean pair of heels, scram, hook it, fly the coop, do a fade
British informal do a runner, scarper, do a bunk
North American informal light out, bug out, cut out, peel out, take a powder, skidoo

run foul (or chiefly North American afoul) of

1 Nautical Collide or become entangled with (an obstacle or another vessel): another ship ran foul of us
More example sentences
  • Entering Bogue Inlet about dusk last May, the Coast Guard's rigid hull inflatable ran afoul of some breaking waves as the inlet bar was up that day.
  • It was in full sail close to us, luffing a little and standing across our course, and so close we had to strike sail to avoid running foul of her, while they too turned hard to let us pass.
2Come into conflict with; go against: the act may run foul of data protection legislation
More example sentences
  • Might we think that there are times when it might permissible, perhaps obligatory, for us to do something that runs afoul of the rule of law in the name of a greater good?
  • Student gangs are a feature of school life and the teacher who runs afoul of any member of a gang, whether male or female, is in for a torrid time.
  • Lombard's admission means he now joins Michelle Smith and Hendricken as the third Irish athlete banned after running foul of testing for performance-enhancing substances.

run the gauntlet


run someone/thing close

Almost defeat a person or team in a contest: the Germans ran Argentina close in the 1986 final
More example sentences
  • Never has a composer had such an influence on his successors - though Wagner may run him close.
  • Smyth himself challenged Trimble's leadership last year and ran him close enough at 47 percent to 53 percent at the unionist council.
  • The Conservatives won one seat, and the SNP, under John Swinney, ran Labour close in two.

run high

see high.

run oneself into the ground


run into the sand

Come to nothing: the peace initiative now seems to be running into the sand
More example sentences
  • If trade talks in Qatar are not going to run into the sand it is this issue that must be resolved.
  • There is a danger that loss of political momentum and squabbles over other arms control issues could lead to the negotiations running into the sand.
  • It may be summer 2008 before local residents know whether the scheme will go ahead or finally run into the sand.

run its course

see course.

run low (or short)

Become depleted: supplies had run short
More example sentences
  • However, while water and medical supplies are running short in some areas stockpiling means that food is not yet generally scarce.
  • Cod supplies have been running short because of fishing restrictions imposed in the North Sea in a bid to repopulate depleted stocks.
  • He predicts that a famine affecting up to 15 million of his people will hit next spring because the twice-yearly rains have largely failed and home-produced food supplies are already running low.
18.1Have too little of something: we’re running short of time
More example sentences
  • The aircraft flew over the Atlantic but weather conditions deteriorated and by the time the squadron reached the English coast at dawn, they were running short of fuel.
  • We were running short of time, and ominous clouds were massing in the sky, but we couldn't resist stepping inside the old church.
  • Doctors said they were running short of anesthetics and medical equipment.

run a mile

see mile.

run off at the mouth

(or run one's mouth)
North American informal Talk excessively or indiscreetly: Peter ran off at the mouth about Taxi Driver being a picture about loneliness
More example sentences
  • Now everyone outside of New York is running off at the mouth about how New Yorkers and Yankee fans are barbarians.
  • I knew Cannonball and knew he was not the type to go running off at the mouth about anything.
  • He may run off at the mouth, and be stubborn, but that's never been much of a sin in American politics.
talk incessantly, talk a lot, rattle on, go on, chatter on, gabble on, ramble on
informal yak, gab, yackety-yak, yap, yabber, yatter
British informal rabbit on, witter on, natter on, chunter on, talk the hind leg off a donkey
Scottish & Irish  slabber on
North American informal run off at the mouth
Australian/New Zealand informal mag
archaic twaddle, twattle, clack

run someone out of town

chiefly North American Force someone to leave a place: my father was almost run out of town for being what they call a ‘liberal’
More example sentences
  • It didn't always mean that if you lost that game they were going to run you out of town, but you sure felt like leaving.
  • That we were merely a bunch of art school fashion victims from Auckland made little difference, and a vigilante squad, supported it seemed by the local newspapers and the Police decided to run us out of town.
  • He bought the apartment building and evicted her and then when she came to beg him for my sake not to run us out of town, he wrote her a check for three thousand dollars and told her never to show her face again.
chase, drive, hunt, hound, put to flight

run rings round

see ring1.

run riot

see riot.

run the risk (or run risks)

see risk.

run the show

informal Dominate or be in charge of an undertaking or area of activity: you’re running the show—what do we do now?
More example sentences
  • I suppose some European countries might have been prepared to undertake this adventure if Washington had not been running the show.
  • The same bunch of plonkers are running the show.
  • Well, an old CIA operative could soon be back on the payroll - this time running the show.
be in charge, be in control, be the boss, be at the helm, be in the driving seat, be in the driver's seat, be at the wheel, be in the saddle, pull the strings, be responsible
informal call the shots

run a temperature

Be suffering from a high temperature.
Example sentences
  • Thirty-six hours later, with Lydia running a temperature of 41.5 degrees, suffering sickness and hallucinations, Mr and Mrs Cross again rang doctors, but were told not to worry.
  • A few minutes earlier, Marylou, running a temperature of 103, was wilting, moaning that she'd die if made to pose in the humidity of the pastel-hued pool house.
  • Osborne was fined a further $785 for transporting a horse to Redcar racecourse in June when vets had found that it was running a temperature.

run someone/thing to earth (or ground)

Hunting Chase a quarry to its lair: they ran the fox to earth
More example sentences
  • After being run to ground by hounds the fox was flushed out of its earth by a terrier and shot.
British 27.1 Find someone or something after a long search: last year, the police ran the fake paintings to ground
More example sentences
  • He teamed up with the FBI and tracked Mitnick for two months, until they ran him to ground, surprising him in a Raleigh apartment, surrounded by telephone gear and fake driver's licenses.
  • 680 million has poured into the state's coffers as tax evaders have been run to ground.
  • Abrams was finally run to earth in 1991, pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of lying to Congress under oath, in order to avoid felony charges.

run to ruin

archaic Fall into disrepair.
Example sentences
  • They are astonished to find the Jellyby household running to ruin as a result of Mrs Jellyby spending more time dealing with far-flung matters of philanthropy than the problems on her own doorstep.

run to seed

see seed.

run wild

see wild.

run with the hare and hunt with the hounds

see hare.

Phrasal verbs


run across

Meet or find by chance: I just thought you might have run across him before
More example sentences
  • Chances are that at some point you've run across someone like me.
  • I've tried desperately to avoid kvetching about my roommate here, just in case she ever runs across the site, but last night sent me over the edge.
  • In the Czech Republic, like any non-Anglo region of the globe, one frequently runs across amusing mistranslations of English.
meet (by chance), come across, run into, chance on, stumble on/across, happen on
informal bump into
archaic run against

run after

Persistently seek to acquire or attain: businesses which have spent years running after the baby boom market
More example sentences
  • I really hope that my band will keep on being honest and playing the good music instead of turning into rats running after the rockstar lifestyle.
  • They have been largely ignored by the media, businesses and public institutions, which have spent years running after the baby-boom market.
2.1Seek the company of (a potential sexual or romantic partner): right from his school days, girls have been running after him
More example sentences
  • This just isn't going to work out if you go running after other girls again.
  • I hope she will marry my son and stop him running after so many girls.
  • Right from his school days, so many girls have been running after him.
pursue, chase, make romantic advances to, flirt with
informal make up to, make eyes at, give the come-on to, come on to, be all over
North American informal vamp
dated set one's cap at

run against

Collide with (someone): I pushed past him, running against Earnshaw in my haste
More example sentences
  • I uttered an expression of disgust, and pushed past him into the yard, running against Earnshaw in my haste.
3.1Happen to meet: I ran against Flanagan the other day
More example sentences
  • By the way, I ran against Flanagan the other day.

run along

[in imperative] informal Go away (used typically to address a child): run along now, there’s a good girl
More example sentences
  • Now run along and play, and let the grown-ups get along with the job of running the country.
  • Run along now, Cole. You should be getting ready yourself.
  • Run along now! You don't want to be late!
go away, be off with you, shoo, on your way, make yourself scarce
informal scram, buzz off, skedaddle, scat, beat it, get lost, shove off, clear off
British informal hop it
South African informal hamba, voetsak
literary begone, avaunt

run around with (US also run with)

informal Associate habitually with (someone): he’s a good lad, but he started running around with the wrong bunch
More example sentences
  • I think it's the new friends he's been running around with.
  • Come on Tobey, find yourself an older woman to run around with.
  • He didn't have time to worry about who his son was running around with during the day when he wasn't home.

run at

Rush towards (someone) to attack them: she ran at him, kicking him with all her force
More example sentences
  • The injuries were caused by one punch as the attacker ran at the man, in Selby Market Place, before riding off on a red bicycle.
  • He runs at Guy, who easily parries his attack and knocks him to the floor.
  • Natalie ran at him, lashing out with her fists.

run away

Escape from a place, person, or situation: children who run away from home normally go to London
More example sentences
  • The children either came from troubled single-parent homes or had run away from home to escape from the pressures at school.
  • Mrs Du Faur even took in a student, who had run away from ‘a terrible living situation’ at home.
  • My personal solution was to run away from it all, and while that has made me happier, I also realize that it was selfish and cowardly.
flee, run off, make a run for it, run for it, take flight, make off, take off, take to one's heels, make a break for it, bolt, beat a (hasty) retreat, make a quick exit, make one's getaway, escape, head for the hills
informal beat it, clear off, clear out, vamoose, skedaddle, split, cut and run, leg it, show a clean pair of heels, turn tail, scram, hook it, fly the coop, skip off, do a fade
British informal do a runner, scarper, do a bunk
North American informal light out, bug out, cut out, peel out, take a powder, skidoo
Australian informal go through, shoot through
archaic fly, levant
(also informal run off) 7.1 Leave one’s home or current partner in order to establish a relationship with someone else: he ran off with his wife’s best friend
More example sentences
  • She told authorities she had been in love with her cousin and had planned to run away with him.
  • We should run away together and start a new life.
  • Craddock's wife has run off with another man, leaving him in charge of their two children.
run off with, elope with
win easily, win hands down
informal win by a mile, walk it, romp home
run away with, elope with, go off with
7.2Try to avoid facing up to a difficult situation: the government are running away from their responsibilities
More example sentences
  • Am I travelling towards a change in lifestyle and attitude, or merely running away from a difficult reality that I'd rather not face?
  • He accuses the Lib Dems of running away from difficult decisions, and says in many wards a vote for them would be a wasted one.
  • The theme of the film involves the central characters encountering new situations while running away from the problems of adulthood.
evade, dodge, get out of, shirk;
avoid, disregard, ignore, take no notice of, pay no attention to, turn one's back on
informal shut one's eyes to, duck, cop out of

run away with

1(Of one’s imagination or emotions) escape the control of: Susan’s imagination was running away with her
More example sentences
  • I think I'm letting my emotions run away with me on this one, and being just a little unfair.
  • Bear in mind I was very tired and emotionally overwrought when I wrote this blog, my imagination may have run away with itself.
  • But then again I'm probably just letting my imagination run away with itself.
2Accept (an idea) without thinking it through properly: a lot of people ran away with the idea that they were pacifists
More example sentences
  • Let's not let EMI run away with the idea that it's doing badly - in fact, let's all take this opportunity to drink a toast to their profits, and a successful British company.
  • Three cheers for that then, but while this is welcome news indeed and an excellent way of dealing with unruly behaviour, let us not run away with the idea that our society is descending into social anarchy.
  • But let's not run away with the idea that Kevin is some kind of burbling half-wit who shouldn't be trusted to do up his own shoelaces.
3Win (a competition or prize) easily: Ipswich are running away with the championship
More example sentences
  • Michael Schumacher does not expect to run away with an eighth world championship when the new Formula One season begins in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday.
  • The expectations have certainly changed since I arrived, but there are some good teams in this division and no-one is going to run away with the league this year.
  • ‘There is a complete sense of disbelief in the dressing room because 20 minutes into the second half we thought we were going to run away with the game,’ said Farrell.

run something by (or past)

Tell (someone) about something, especially in order to ascertain their opinion or reaction: I’ll have to run it past Claire first
More example sentences
  • I actually ran my opinion by my solicitor friend today, and she agreed I was being unfairly treated.
  • He also clarified that the plans for the scaffolding had been run by, and received approval from, Oxford City Council.
  • Scotty writes the lyrics, and runs half-formed songs past his brood, before sending them to Nick to musicalise.

run someone/thing down

1(Of a vehicle or its driver) hit a person or animal and knock them to the ground: the boy was run down by joyriders
More example sentences
  • According to one witness, a worker who was standing next to her, the driver deliberately ran Clark down.
  • As Kim stood in the path of a truck attempting to enter Sanjo Remicon's depot, the driver ran him down.
  • It's too easy for the drivers of such huge and unwieldy vehicles to sideswipe your bike and run you down without even noticing you're there.
run over, knock down, knock over, knock to the ground;
hit, strike
1.1(Of a boat) collide with another vessel.
Example sentences
  • During the voyage they will have to ride out ferocious storms and heavy seas and there will be a constant threat from floating logs, abandoned containers and huge merchant vessels which could run them down without even noticing.
2Criticize someone or something unfairly or unkindly: you mustn’t keep running yourself down
More example sentences
  • ‘Some people have complained or run us down,’ says Kernan, a small smile almost escaping.
  • We do not want to hear Opposition members running New Zealanders down, running the country down, and bringing everybody down.
  • He says you've been running him down in public recently.
criticize, denigrate, belittle, disparage, deprecate, speak badly off, speak ill of, find fault with;
revile, vilify
informal put down, knock, bad-mouth, have a go at
British informal rubbish, slag off
rare derogate, asperse
3Discover someone or something after a search: she finally ran the professor down
More example sentences
  • She finally ran the professor down in an academic directory.

run something down (or run down)

Reduce (or become reduced) in size, numbers, or resources: the government were reviled for running down the welfare state hardwood stocks in some countries are rapidly running down
More example sentences
  • Production at the plant will be run down between now and the end of the year.
  • The four state-owned refineries have been run down and cannot produce enough to meet local demand.
  • Spending on education in Bradford has been run down over a number of years.
reduce, cut back on, cut, downsize, decrease, pare down, trim;
phase out, wind down, wind up
11.1Lose (or cause to lose) power; stop (or cause to stop) functioning: the battery has run down
More example sentences
  • They would not start whatever we did and we ended up simply running both batteries down in the process.
  • Old batteries have a diminished capacity to hold power, and they run down very quickly.
  • I would have taken some photos, but I realised, too late, that the batteries were running down on my camera.
11.2Gradually deteriorate (or cause to deteriorate) in quality: the property had been allowed to run down
More example sentences
  • The children say the playground has been run down over the last decade.
  • At the meeting fears were voiced that the hospital had been run down over recent years, forcing it to close.
  • This can be caused by crash or yo-yo dieting, and a lifestyle that is becoming common in 30-something women: working long hours, not eating properly and leading stressful lives, which runs the body down.
decline, degenerate, go downhill, become dilapidated, go to seed, fall into decay, decay, go to rack and ruin
informal go to pot, go to the dogs
dilapidated, tumbledown, ramshackle, derelict, ruinous, falling to pieces, decrepit, gone to rack and ruin, in ruins, broken-down, crumbling, decaying, disintegrating;
neglected, uncared-for, unmaintained, depressed, down at heel, seedy, shabby, dingy, slummy, insalubrious, squalid
informal shambly, crummy
British informal grotty
North American informal shacky
Australian/New Zealand informal rumpty

run someone in

informal Arrest someone: I’m going to have to run you in
More example sentences
  • I'm gonna run you in for assault and battery for pushing my partner like you did.
arrest, take into custody, apprehend, detain, take in, take prisoner, put in jail, throw in jail
informal pick up, pull in, haul in, pinch, bust, nab, nail, do, collar, feel someone's collar
British informal nick

run something in

Prepare the engine of a new car for normal use by driving slowly for a period of time.
Example sentences
  • The manual says you don't need to run this motor in, but I'm a skeptic and besides, running it in properly isn't going to hurt it.
  • As I'm running the new engine in I agree to be tail-end Charlie - that's the end of the convoy for non-bikers.
13.1Use something new in such a way as not to make maximum demands upon it: whatever system you choose, you must run it in properly
More example sentences
  • Once the gearbox has been run in during qualifying I hope to have a bit of fun chasing Richard Chamberlain and Rupert Lewin.
  • Our concern here is that whatever system you choose you must run it in properly.

run into

1Collide with: he ran into a lamppost
More example sentences
  • A passing car lost control and ran into the telephone kiosk knocking it to the ground.
  • And then suddenly, one of the guys ran into me, knocking me down, along with my box, which held my computer disks and floppies.
  • Sneaking through the room, he was about to launch an attack on the intruder when he ran into the dresser, knocking over a lamp.
collide with, be in collision with, hit, strike, crash into, smash into, knock into, plough into, barge into, meet head-on, ram;
North American  impact
1.1Meet by chance: I ran into Moira on the way home
More example sentences
  • Then, quite by chance, he runs into a woman with whom he had a furtive adolescent relationship.
  • The chances of running into Clayton out here were next to nil, but I looked anyway.
  • Since you're in the same building during the same hours, there's a pretty good chance you'll run into each other on more than a few occasions.
1.2Experience (a problem or difficulty): the bank ran into financial difficulties
More example sentences
  • He had run into financial difficulties trying to maintain two families.
  • Just after I finished school, my older brother Hal ran into some financial difficulties.
  • These huge numbers are due to the increasing numbers of people running into difficulties because of credit card debts and other loans.
2Reach (a level or amount): debts running into millions of dollars
More example sentences
  • Southend Council is to ask the Government to foot the bill for damage caused by the Cliffs landslide with the amount expected to run into several million pounds.
  • It is not yet known how much but police confirmed the amount ran into thousands of pounds.
  • The cost of losing even small amounts of data can run into the millions of dollars.
reach, extend to, be as high/much as
3Blend into or appear to coalesce with: her words ran into each other
More example sentences
  • This is how he talks, so fast that all the words run into one.
  • Nonetheless, the set was as original as they come, with songs running into each other seamlessly and slowing down or speeding up whenever the mood took them.
  • The villages of Methil and Leven run into each other, and the 9000 people who live there are part of a close-knit community where everyone seems to know everything that is going on.

run off


run off with

informal Steal: the treasurer had run off with the pension funds
More example sentences
  • Someone ran off with all the money last week - the money that I kept in my own room.
  • New Harmony collapsed when one of Owen's American business partners ran off with all profits.
  • Saengdao Bell holds up a picture of John Bell, her husband, whom she said ran off with 2 million baht of her money.

run something off

1Reproduce copies of a piece of writing on a machine: please run off some copies of that report
More example sentences
  • People who want prints on paper can run them off at minimal cost on just about any photo-quality printer, using inexpensive inks and papers.
  • ‘It costs the forger virtually nothing to run them off a photocopier,’ said Kennedy.
  • We'd already prepared the printed statement - I think we'd run off about 100 copies.
copy, photocopy, xerox, duplicate, print, photostat, mimeograph;
make, produce, do
1.1Write or recite something quickly and with little effort.
2Drain liquid from a container: run off the water that has been standing in the pipes
More example sentences
  • The emerging site includes porous parking areas that absorb water rather than run it off into storm drains.
  • Drainage gullies should be put in place to run off surface water.
drain, drain off, bleed off, draw off, pump out

run on

1Continue without stopping; go on longer than is expected: the story ran on for months
More example sentences
  • The stories run on almost interminably as Chandy Mathew tries to squeeze a moral out of seemingly ordinary situations.
  • Things ran on for about 18 months and I was then asked to go to Harley Street, in London, to see a surgeon appointed by the insurance company.
  • The Paris peace conference was a lengthy and complex process, running on for six months.
continue, go on, carry on, last, keep going, extend, stretch
1.1Talk incessantly: your mother does run on, doesn’t she?
More example sentences
  • I must say, your mother does run on, doesn't she?
  • The reader will be relieved to know that I am not going to run on about the Norsemen, the Anglo-Normans and the Anglo-Saxons.
2 (also run upon) (Of a person’s mind or a discussion) be preoccupied or concerned with: my thoughts ran too much on death
More example sentences
  • My thoughts ran on that same thread throughout the night.
  • My thoughts ran too much on death.
be preoccupied with, be concerned with, dwell on, focus on, be focused on, revolve around, centre around, be dominated by, be fixated with
3 Printing Continue on the same line as the preceding matter.
Example sentences
  • I think you'll be pleased at the look of the poems - they're arranged so that none of the lines run on.

run out

1(Of a supply of something) be used up: our food is about to run out
More example sentences
  • Passengers reported conditions close to ‘bedlam’ as air conditioning units failed and water supplies ran out.
  • He says worldwide oil supplies are simply running out.
  • Surely this difficulty should have been foreseen and the Minister should have negotiated the further funding long before the supply of cash had run out.
be used up, dry up, be exhausted, be finished, give out, peter out, fail;
1.1Use up one’s supply of something: we’ve run out of petrol
More example sentences
  • But he and his men were running out of supplies, and many were at their wits end.
  • Few of us would know what to do if our water or electricity supplies were cut off, or the supermarkets ran out of food.
  • If a local council runs out of money it is the duty of central government to bail them out and not to charge the householders extra money.
have none left, have no more of, be out of;
use up, exhaust one's supply of, consume, eat up;
sell out of
informal be fresh out of, be cleaned out of
1.2Become no longer valid: her contract runs out at the end of the year
More example sentences
  • My contract runs out at the end of the year, and as yet nothing else has been agreed.
  • I have a five-year contract which runs out next July.
  • Larsson's contract runs out at the end of next season.
expire, come to an end, end, terminate, finish;
lapse, be no longer valid
2(Of rope) be paid out: slowly, he let the cables run out
More example sentences
  • Slowly, he let the cables run out.
3 [with adverbial of direction] Extend; project: a row of buildings ran out to Whitehall Gate
More example sentences
  • At right angles to the façade a row of buildings ran out to Whitehall Gate.
4 [with complement] British Emerge from a contest in a specified position: the team ran out 4-1 winners
More example sentences
  • The lead changed hands several times with the top Scottish team eventually running out winners.
  • Manchester United ran out comfortable 3-0 winners and qualified for the quarter-finals.
  • Further goals were scored by James Gill and Rob Henson as they ran out 7-2 winners.

run someone out

Dismiss a batsman by dislodging the bails with the ball while the batsman is still running between the wickets.
Example sentences
  • Yuvi also took a crucial wicket, and ran Inzamam out.
  • They put on 59 for the first wicket before Sharples was run out for 35.
  • They slumped to 23 for 3 after Rashid Khan was run out and David Harrison and Jon Lewis took a wicket apiece.
20.1(Of a batsman) cause one’s partner to be dismissed in this way by poor judgement.
Example sentences
  • Between them they forged out 29 century opening stands - and Lumb would probably argue the number would have been much higher if his celebrated partner had not run him out so many times.
  • Botham is reputed to have run him out on purpose because he was scoring too slowly.
  • Other team-mates refused to speak to him or tried to run him out.

run out on

informal Abandon (someone): it seems Jack’s run out on her and the three children
More example sentences
  • There has to be a good reason why she ran out on him.
  • He couldn't stand the fact that she ran out on him last night.
  • My mom said that my father ran out on her and that he was a bastard.
desert, abandon, leave in the lurch, jilt, leave high and dry, discard, cast aside, throw over, turn one's back on
informal walk out on, dump, ditch, leave someone holding the baby, leave flat
archaic forsake

run over

1(Of a container or its contents) overflow: the bath’s running over
overflow, spill over, spill, brim over
rare overbrim
2Exceed (an expected limit): the film ran over schedule and budget
More example sentences
  • It was the second time in three days that rush hour services had been disrupted by engineering work running over schedule.
  • The IRS says parts of the project are more than two years behind schedule and running over budget.
  • Earlier this month it was revealed that some elements of the plan are running over budget and at least seven years behind schedule.
exceed, go over, go beyond, overshoot, overreach

run someone/thing over

(Of a vehicle or its driver) knock a person or animal down and pass over their body: Anna accidentally ran over their cat
More example sentences
  • Another worker said Mr Heap was standing by the vehicle when he was run over.
  • The fifty-two year old businessman was charged with culpable homicide after running Clarke over with his four-wheel drive vehicle.
  • She died of chest and abdominal injuries after she was run over by a lorry outside York District Hospital.
run down, knock down, knock over, knock to the ground, hit, strike

run over

Go over (something) quickly as a reminder or rehearsal: her mind ran over their previous conversation
More example sentences
  • So my mind runs over the day, the events, my fears.
  • Her mind ran over the history lessons she'd had as a child.
  • You have that meeting at four with the Board of Directors, shall we run over your speech?
recapitulate, repeat, run through, go over, go through, reiterate, review;
look through, look over, read through
informal recap

run through

1Be present in every part of; pervade: a sense of personal loss runs through many of his lyrics
More example sentences
  • The other interesting theme running through here is the loss of family.
  • Do you sense a strong current of social idealism running through present-day American design?
  • While it is difficult to categorize the projects presented in this volume, one common thread that runs through much of the work is the architects' concern for ecologically sound design.
pervade, permeate, suffuse, imbue, inform, go through
2Use or spend recklessly or rapidly: her husband had long since run through her money
More example sentences
  • It didn't take them too many years to run through all their money.
  • Not surprisingly, he quickly ran through the money and had to ask Morgan for more.
  • That ever-charming quality stood him in good stead as he ran through the money of numerous family friends who invested in a long string of his losing ventures.
squander, fritter away, spend, spend like water, throw away, dissipate, waste, go through, consume, use up
informal blow
3Go over (something) quickly as a reminder or rehearsal: I’ll just run through the schedule for the weekend
More example sentences
  • Before we get on to the clinical implications, let's just quickly run through what the possible reasons are.
  • We did some rehearsing yesterday evening, running through some old Dr. Feelgood numbers.
  • As I read I kept running through all the things I have said over the last six years since having Madison.
go over, go through, look over, look through, cast one's eye over, take a look at, run over;
read, study, scan, peruse, review, examine, inspect
informal give something a/the once-over
rehearse, practise, go through, go over, repeat, do again;
North American  run down
informal recap

run someone/thing through

Stab a person or animal so as to kill them: Campbell threatened to run him through with his sword
More example sentences
  • An opponent with a knife could easily run you through if you tried that, so it wasn't actually very convincing as self-defense.
  • Descartes drew his sword and threatened to run them through if they tried to harm him.
  • At once he unleashed an unearthly scream, as though someone had just run him through with a spear.
stab, pierce, transfix, impale

run to

1Extend to or reach (a specified amount or size): the document ran to almost 100 pages
More example sentences
  • The expense of returning home could run to considerably more than this.
  • All human life is contained within the covers of the book, which runs to 227 pages and contains a wonderful collection of musings and anecdotes.
  • The compensation was £585 yet the real cost runs to over £1, 000.
reach, extend to, be as high as, be as much as;
amount to, add up to, total, come to, equal
1.1Be enough to cover (a particular expense): my income doesn’t run to luxuries like taxis
More example sentences
  • Considering she is an 80-year-old pensioner, I do not think her pension would run to that sort of expense.
  • The budget can't have run to PR representation.
  • Tipton's budget doesn't run to many luxuries.
afford, stretch to, manage, have money for
2(Of a person) show a tendency to or inclination towards: she was tall and running to fat
More example sentences
  • Her tastes in movies run to romantic comedies and drama.
  • Whether your taste runs to Wordsworth, real ale or fell-walking, Grasmere is the right place to start from.
  • Anand's taste runs to Aerosmith, Moby and Bon Jovi, while Cathleen prefers Savage Garden and the Backstreet Boys.
tend to, show a tendency to;
become, get, grow
3Have recourse to (someone) for support: don’t come running to me for a handout
More example sentences
  • They get into debt because they don't know how to handle their money and then go running to their parents for a hand-out.
  • You care about no-one but yourself so just go along and do what you think is best, but don't you dare come running to me when it backfires on you.
  • Don't come running to me when you're so hung over tomorrow you can't get out of bed.

run something up

1Allow a debt or bill to accumulate: he ran up debts of $153,000
More example sentences
  • He also suggested BT should use technology to detect obvious faults in the system before such enormous bills were run up.
  • As a result of mismanagement, debts of 110 million guilders had been run up and these were taken on by the Dutch state.
  • More costs were run up the next morning when the plumber returned to fit a temporary stop-cock.
accumulate, accrue, amass, collect, gather, stockpile, heap up, rack up, build up, scrape together, hoard, lay in/up, garner;
British  tot up
1.1Achieve a particular score in a game or match: they ran up 467 runs for the loss of eight wickets
More example sentences
  • With the wind behind them they ran up a score of 2 - 14 to 0 - 3 at half time.
  • Imran Farhat and Taufeeq Umar played together 15 times and ran up 754 runs at an impressive average of 50.27 per innings.
  • Danny Hennesey and Bob Wrigglesworth hit a flurry of boundaries as Drax looked like running up a mammoth score against Heworth.
2Make something quickly or hurriedly, especially a piece of clothing: I’ll run up a dress for you
More example sentences
  • From running designs up on sewing machines at the back of the shop, Stephen soon grew to be a large-scale manufacturer.
  • He was obsessed by her looks, to the extent of commissioning designers to run up body-hugging dresses for her.
  • Watching musicals as a child sparked her interest, and she had her mother run up a Sound of Music dress to wear in a talent show at school.
3Raise a flag: they ran up the star and crescent
More example sentences
  • The Americans put their emergency plans into operation, ran the American flag up over the house and settled down to wait things out.
  • The bell at the Empire Hotel would ring at midday and a flag would be run up the pub's flag-pole to indicate the postponement of the match.
  • Someone's even gone to the effort of digging out a flag with the college logo on it and run it up to half mast.

run up against

Meet (a difficulty or problem): the scheme could run up against European regulations
More example sentences
  • This procedure runs up against two difficulties.
  • Any difficult/challenging lifestyle is going to run up against… difficulties and challenges.
  • The government is proposing 200 city academies, including 60 in London, although several such schemes have recently run up against local parental opposition.

run with

1Proceed with; accept: we do lots of tests before we run with a product
More example sentences
  • ‘I think that Humphrey would have won if he had accepted and run with that plan,’ Laird said.
  • Once you accept the basic idea, shouldn't you run with it?
  • Once I stopped caring what other people said, I accepted my role and just started running with it.



Example sentences
  • In short, he has both the strength and skill to run any whitewater that's runnable.
  • This is a requisite of real-time computing, where you need your real-time task to run the moment it becomes runnable.
  • The area features generally runnable deciduous woodland with some steep slopes and craggy outcrops and a reasonable path network.


Old English rinnan, irnan (verb), of Germanic origin, probably reinforced in Middle English by Old Norse rinna, renna. The current form with -u- in the present tense is first recorded in the 16th century.

  • An important little Anglo-Saxon word found in many common phrases. If you come into conflict with someone you have run foul of them. This nautical expression refers to a ship which had collided or become entangled with another vessel or with an obstacle. If people are angry public feeling may run high, which is another nautical phrase, from waves or tides rising about their normal height, especially in stormy conditions. Both of these phrases appeared around 1700. An ordinary or undistinguished person might be described as a run-of-the-mill type. Here the run is the material produced from a mill before it has been sorted or inspected for quality. When you find someone after a long search you may feel that at last you have run them to earth. The earth is a fox's home, and the literal meaning is ‘to chase a hunted animal to its lair and corner it there’. A confrontation that has gone on for a long time is sometimes called a running battle. The idea reaches back into the history of warfare. Literally, a running battle is one that constantly changes its location, the opposite of a pitched battle ( see pitch). The expression is first recorded in the late 17th century as running fight and described a naval engagement that continued even as one side was fleeing. The current version was not recorded until the 20th century, but is now the more common. See also gauntlet

Words that rhyme with run

begun, bun, done, Donne, dun, fine-spun, forerun, fun, gun, Gunn, hon, Hun, none, nun, one, one-to-one, outdone, outgun, outrun, plus-one, pun, shun, son, spun, stun, sun, ton, tonne, tun, underdone, Verdun, won

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: run

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