• synonyms


  1. simple past tense of outrun.
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verb (used with object), out·ran, out·run, out·run·ning.
  1. to run faster or farther than.
  2. to escape by or as if by running: They managed to outrun the police.
  3. to exceed; excel; surpass.
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Origin of outrun

First recorded in 1520–30; out + run
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

elude, surpass, beat, distance, exceed, defeat

Examples from the Web for outran

Historical Examples

  • She was so light in running that she outran the swiftest dogs.

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • I liked him that day he outran the flier; I've often thought of him since then.

  • Astonishment so outran good-breeding that I unwittingly let him perceive it.

    A Labrador Doctor

    Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

  • That he saw he was beaten, and fell so that he might make a claim that you outran him by accident.

    Frank Merriwell's Races

    Burt L. Standish

  • He outran all the rest, and was the first man to arrive in the city.

    Lincoln's Yarns and Stories

    Alexander K. McClure

British Dictionary definitions for outran


verb -runs, -running, -ran or -run (tr)
  1. to run faster, farther, or better than
  2. to escape from by or as if by running
  3. to go beyond; exceed
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for outran



mid-14c., "to run out," from out (adv.) + run (v.). Sense of "to outstrip in running" is from 1520s; figurative use from 1650s. Related: Outran; outrunning.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper