verb (used without object), ran, run, run·ning.
- to take part in a race or contest.
- to finish in a race or contest in a certain numerical position: The horse ran second.
- to accumulate, follow, or become payable in due course, as interest on a debt: Your interest runs from January 1st to December 31st.
- to make many withdrawals in rapid succession, as from a bank.
- to have legal force or effect, as a writ.
- to continue to operate.
- to go along with: The easement runs with the land.
verb (used with object), ran, run, run·ning.
- bomb run.
- any portion of a military flight during which the aircraft flies directly toward the target in order to begin its attack: a strafing run.
- the rapid movement, under its own power, of an aircraft on a runway, water, or another surface.
- a routine flight from one place to another: the evening run from New York to London.
- the horizontal distance between the face of a wall and the ridge of a roof.
- the distance between the first and last risers of a flight of steps or staircase.
- the horizontal distance between successive risers on a flight of steps or a staircase.
- to follow; chase: The dog ran after the burglar.
- to pursue or court the affections of, especially in an aggressive manner: He ran after her until she agreed to marry him.
- to attempt to become friendly with or part of the society of: He runs after the country-club set.
- (often followed by with) to socialize; consort with: She runs around with the strangest people.
- to be unfaithful to one's spouse or lover: It was common knowledge that he was running around.
- to flee or escape; leave a place of confinement or control with the intention of never returning: He ran away from home three times.
- Nautical.to haul on a line by walking or running steadily.
- to go away with, especially to elope with: She ran away with a sailor.
- to abscond with; steal: to run away with some valuable jewelry.
- to surpass others in; be outstanding in: to run away with academic honors.
- to overwhelm; get the better of: Sometimes his enthusiasm runs away with him.
- to strike and fell or overturn, especially to drive a vehicle into (someone): to run down an innocent pedestrian.
- to pursue until captured; chase: The detective swore that he would run down the criminal.
- to peruse; review: His eyes ran down the front row and stopped suddenly.
- to cease operation; stop: My watch has run down.
- to speak disparagingly of; criticize severely: The students were always running down their math teacher.
- to search out; trace; find: to run down information.
- Baseball.to tag out (a base runner) between bases.
- Nautical.to collide with and sink (another vessel).
- Nautical.to sail closely parallel to (a coast).
- to visit casually: If I'm in the neighborhood, I may run in for a few minutes.
- to include in a text, as something to be inserted.
- Slang.to arrest; take to jail: They ran him in for burglary.
- Printing.to add (matter) to text without indenting.
- to break in (new machinery).
- to crash into; collide with: She was so sleepy that she ran into a lamppost.
- to meet accidentally: You never know whom you'll run into at a big party.
- to amount to; total: losses that ran into millions of dollars.
- to succeed; follow: One year ran into the next, and still there was no change.
- to experience; encounter: The project ran into difficulty.
- to leave quickly; depart.
- to create or perform rapidly or easily: to run off a new song.
- to determine the winner of (a contest, race, etc.) by a runoff.
- to drive away; expel: to run someone off one's property.
- to print or otherwise duplicate: Please run off 500 copies.
- to abscond with (something); steal or borrow; take: He ran off with the money. Who ran off with the pencil sharpener?
- to elope: I hear she ran off with the Smith boy.
- to continue without interruption: The account that he gave ran on at some length.
- Printing.to add (matter) to text without indenting.
- to add something, as at the end of a text: to run on an adverb to a dictionary entry.
- to terminate; expire: My subscription ran out last month. Time ran out before we could score another touchdown.
- to become used up: His money soon ran out.
- to drive out; expel: They want to run him out of the country.
- to hit and knock down, especially with a vehicle: She cried inconsolably when her cat was run over by a car.
- to go beyond; exceed: His speech ran over the time limit.
- to repeat; review: We'll run over that song again.
- to overflow, as a vessel.
- to pierce or stab, as with a sword: to run someone through.
- to consume or use up recklessly; squander: to run through a fortune.
- to practice, review, or rehearse quickly or informally: to run through a scene.
- to sew rapidly: She ran up some curtains.
- to amass; incur: running up huge debts.
- to cause to increase; raise: to run up costs unnecessarily.
- to build, especially hurriedly: They are tearing down old tenement blocks and running up skyscrapers.
- to proceed or go ahead with: If the stockholders like the idea, we'll run with it.
- to carry out with enthusiasm or speed.
- close or keen competition: The out-of-town team gave us a run for our money.
- enjoyment or profit in return for one's expense: This may not be the best tool kit, but it will give you a run for your money.
- moving quickly; hurrying about: He's so busy, he's always on the run.
- while running or in a hurry: I usually eat breakfast on the run.
- escaping or hiding from the police: He was on the run for two years.
- Nautical.to collide with so as to cause damage and entanglement.
- to incur or become subject to the wrath or ill will of: to run afoul of the law; He argued with his father and has run afoul of him ever since.
- to go through the motions of running without leaving one's original place.
- to exist or work without noticeable change, progress, or improvement.
- to exhaust or lose one's energy, enthusiasm, etc.: After the first game of tennis, I ran out of gas and had to rest.
- to falter for lack of impetus, ideas, capital, etc.: The economic recovery seems to be running out of gas.
Origin of run
verb runs, running, ran or run
- (of a two-legged creature) to move on foot at a rapid pace so that both feet are off the ground together for part of each stride
- (of a four-legged creature) to move at a rapid gait; gallop or canter
- to have legal force or effectthe lease runs for two more years
- to accompany; be an integral part of or adjunct toan easement runs with the land
- to melt or fuse
- (tr)to mould or cast (molten metal)to run lead into ingots
- to migrate upstream from the sea, esp in order to spawn
- to swim rapidly in any area of water, esp during migration
- a period of time during which a machine, computer, etc, operates
- the amount of work performed in such a period
- a continuous vein or seam of ore, coal, etc
- the direction in which it lies
- a period during which water or other liquid flows
- the amount of such a flow
- the tack of a sailing vessel in which the wind comes from astern
- part of the hull of a vessel near the stern where it curves upwards and inwards
- a mission in a warplane
- short for bombing run
- a strong challenge or close competition
- pleasure derived from an activity
- escaping from arrest; fugitive
- in rapid flight; retreatingthe enemy is on the run
- hurrying from place to placeshe's always on the run
Word Origin for run
the modern verb is a merger of two related Old English words, in both of which the first letters sometimes switched places. The first is intransitive rinnan, irnan "to run, flow, run together" (past tense ran, past participle runnen), cognate with (cf. Middle Dutch runnen, Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic rinnan, German rinnen "to flow, run").
The second is Old English transitive weak verb ærnan, earnan "ride, run to, reach, gain by running" (probably a metathesis of *rennan), from Proto-Germanic *rannjanan, causative of the root *ren- "to run." This is cognate with Old Saxon renian, Old High German rennen, German rennen, Gothic rannjan.
Both are from PIE *ri-ne-a-, nasalized form of root *reie- "to flow, run" (see Rhine).
Of streams, etc., from c.1200; of machinery, from 1560s. Meaning "be in charge of" is first attested 1861, originally American English. Meaning "seek office in an election" is from 1826, American English. Phrase run for it "take flight" is attested from 1640s. Many figurative uses are from horseracing or hunting (e.g. to run (something) into the ground, 1836, American English).
To run across "meet" is attested from 1855, American English. To run short "exhaust one's supply" is from 1752; to run out of in the same sense is from 1713. To run around with "consort with" is from 1887. Run away "flee in the face of danger" is from late 14c. To run late is from 1954.
"a spell of running," mid-15c. (earlier ren, late 14c.), from run (v.). The Old English noun ryne meant "a flowing, a course, a watercourse." Modern sense of "small stream" first recorded 1580s, mostly Northern English dialect and American English.
Meaning "continuous stretch" (of something) is from 1670s. Meaning "series or rush of demands on a bank, etc." is first recorded 1690s. Meaning "the privilege of going through or over" is from 1755. Baseball sense is from 1856. Meaning "single trip by a railroad train" is from 1857. Military aircraft sense is from 1916. Meaning "total number of copies printed" is from 1909. Meaning "tear in a knitted garment" is from 1922. Phrase a run for one's money is from 1872 in a figurative sense, originally from horse racing, implying competition (1841).
run in place
Work or exert oneself without noticeable change or progress. For example, I've worked on this project for months but feel I'm running in place. This idiom employs in place in the sense of “on one spot,” a usage dating from the late 1200s.
In addition to the idioms beginning with run
- run across
- run a fever
- run afoul of
- run after
- run against
- run along
- run amok
- run an errand
- run a risk
- run around
- run around in circles
- run around like a chicken
- run around with
- run a temperature
- run a tight ship
- run away
- run away with
- run by someone
- run circles around
- run counter to
- run down
- run dry
- run for it
- run for one's money, a
- run foul
- run high
- run in
- run in place
- run interference
- run in the blood
- run into
- run into a stone wall
- run into the ground
- run its course
- run like clockwork
- running on empty
- running start
- run off
- run off at the mouth
- run off with
- run of luck
- run of the mill
- run on
- run one ragged
- run one's eyes over
- run one's head against the wall
- run one's own show
- run out
- run out of
- run out on
- run over
- run rings around
- run riot
- run scared
- run short
- run someone in
- run someone off his or her feet
- run the gamut
- run the gauntlet
- run the show
- run through
- run to
- run to earth
- run to form
- run to seed
- run up
- run wild
- run with
- beat (run) one's head against the wall
- cut and run
- dry run
- eat and run
- end run
- go (run) around in circles
- great minds (run in the same channel)
- home run
- in the long run
- like clockwork, run
- make a break (run) for
- make one's blood run cold
- (run) off someone's feet
- on the run
- still waters run deep
- tight ship, run a
- well's run dry
Also see underrunning.