Definition of runt in English:

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Pronunciation: /rʌnt/


1A small pig or other animal, especially the smallest in a litter.
Example sentences
  • And not all immune animals are runts - the Virginia opossum is shielded from 37 species of pit vipers, including all major North American rattlers.
  • With most animals, there are runts who are discarded, and nature just tries again in its merciless, relentless, remorseless way.
  • If it was the runt of the litter I imagine the hamster would be bigger than that - say three or four inches.
1.1 derogatory An undersized or weak person.
Example sentences
  • As one of his friends once quipped, he may have been the runt of the litter of three brothers, yet with all his charm and humour, he was ‘the best argument against eugenics we have’.
  • The runt of the Kennedy litter, he was too small to be a football player and far from a good student.
  • Only one brother remained - Henry's youngest son John, unkindly described by historians as the runt of the Angevin litter, whom Henry had only entrusted with the lordship of Ireland, still a frontier land in the Angevin territories.
2A pigeon of a large domestic breed.
Example sentences
  • Our members are a down to earth group of fanciers who not only love the breed of Giant Runts, but they truly enjoy each other as friends as well.
3A small ox or cow, especially one of various Scottish Highland or Welsh breeds.
Example sentences
  • This study compared vertebral morphology and biomechanical properties of human and runt cow lumbar motion segments.



adjective (runtier, runtiest)
Example sentences
  • Although compared to the runty gruntings of their contemporaries they sound as forward thinking as Varese, Stockhausen, and Cameo put together.
  • The stalks that remain support runty, shriveled buds.
  • The Japanese are always runty and a little simple-minded.


Early 16th century (in the sense 'old or decayed tree stump'): of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with runt

affront, blunt, brunt, bunt, confront, front, Granth, grunt, hunt, mahant, shunt, stunt, up-front

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: runt

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