Definition of running in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrʌnɪŋ/


[mass noun]
1The action or movement of a runner: his running tore United to shreds
More example sentences
  • While the two strikers were full of running and movement, they faced a wall of defenders who played very deep on account of their obvious lack of pace.
  • Adding to all this the running between wickets was near perfect.
  • All that running and sprinting made my muscles all tight and painful to stretch out.
1.1The sport of racing on foot: marathon running
More example sentences
  • It's important to take it steadily when you first decide to take up any sport and running is no different.
  • Now living and working in New York, she decided to take up running because other sports were so expensive.
  • However, as with other sports, if good technique is applied, running can be both enjoyable and rewarding.
2The action of managing or operating something: the day-to-day running of the office
More example sentences
  • My son has a new head at his primary school who does no teaching and has no involvement with the day-to-day running of the school.
  • In her role as manager, she was responsible for the day-to-day running of the premises.
  • Head teachers look after the day-to-day running of a school.


1 [attributive] Denoting something that runs, in particular:
Example sentences
  • Kevin hit his straps and directed play through the half forward zone, bringing the running players into the game.
  • I looked for an emotion - of pain, of weariness, of Basil Brush exuberance - but of course it was just a running fox.
  • Team roping involves two people on horseback trying to stop a running steer.
1.1(Of water) flowing naturally or supplied to a building through pipes and taps: hot and cold running water
More example sentences
  • It is not known whether the premises have a working electricity supply or running water and much of the estate has fallen into disrepair.
  • It is an exciting moment for me when I see a blade of grass or see a leaf of a tree, and when I listen to birds chattering and to running water in a stream.
  • The path to the top of the mountain runs beside the running water of a stream.
flowing, streaming, gushing, rushing, moving
1.2(Of a sore or a part of the body) exuding liquid or pus: a running sore
More example sentences
  • But she had an offensive, running sore that lay open from below her knee right down to her foot.
2Done while running: a running jump
More example sentences
  • He must have taken a bit of a running jump at it though, because he travelled about half an inch before capitulating in a salty heap.
  • I taking a running jump and land a nice axe kick on him.
  • I take a running start and jump over the first, which is as high as my hip.
3Continuous or recurring over a long period: a running joke
More example sentences
  • Not only do the running expenses continue, but they usually increase in times of drought.
  • Still, as their winning streak drained the suspense out of the show, no event needed a running joke more.
  • Like many Scottish men typecast by gender, Max's chosen career is something of a running joke amongst members of his family.
3.1 [postpositive] Consecutive; in succession: he failed to produce an essay for the third week running
More example sentences
  • Those who are absent from classes for two weeks running or 50 class hours added up in one semester will be given a record of a demerit for misconduct.
  • The former gospel singer has held onto her number one spot for the second week running.
in succession, in a row, in sequence, one after the other, consecutively;
straight, together
informal on the trot



in (or out of) the running

In (or no longer in) contention for an award, victory, or a place in a team: he is in the running for an Oscar
More example sentences
  • By then the winner tends to be known and three quarters of the teams know that they are out of the running.
  • He knows his team are out of the running and it riles.
  • As the league is rapidly coming to a close the trophies are up for grabs and all eight teams are still in the running.
likely to win/get/receive, in contention for, a candidate for, in line for, on the shortlist for, being considered for, up for
out of contention, out of the competition, out of the contest, no longer a candidate for

make the running

British Set the pace in a race or activity: Arkle was making all the running in the past women sat back and waited for men to make the running
More example sentences
  • Arsenal continued to make the running and knew they had to remain patient, rather than become frustrated, as the minutes ticked away.
  • ‘It was a very hard race, and once again I was left to make the running without any help,’ she complained.
  • First Row made the running to the turn when favourite Unfurled took over in front.

take a running jump

[often as imperative] Used as an expression of angry dismissal or rejection: I hope you told that boss of yours to take a running jump
More example sentences
  • Time will tell, but if it tells me to read Yours Magazine, I may well tell time to take a running jump.
  • Then you really might want to take a running jump.
  • And their message is, on your own argument, that the anti-war party should take a running jump.

take up the running

Take over as pacesetter in a race.
Example sentences
  • Meanwhile, White was starting to lose ground as Tootell and Purdie took up the running at the front of the race.
  • Distinction, the 11-4 favourite, takes up the running with about half a mile to go and soon has the field strung out.
  • The seven-year-old was always in the lead group and took up the running at Aintree when Ardent Scout unseated his rider at the ninth of the 22 fences.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: run|ning

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