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in the running

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1

Entered as a competitor in a contest. For example, Is Mary in the running for this election? The antonym, out of the running, means “not entered as a competitor,” as in Ian is out of the running for the job now that he's living in another state. [Mid-1800s]

2

Having a chance to win, as in Mary's still in the running for the promotion. Again, out of the running means the opposite, as in He's too old—he's out of the running. [Mid-1800s] Both usages allude to the entry and chances of a horse in a race.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

How to use in the running in a sentence

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