[ ruhn-on, -awn ]

  1. of or designating something that is added or run on: a run-on entry in a dictionary.

  2. Prosody. (of a line of verse) having a thought that carries over to the next line, especially without a syntactical break.

  1. run-on matter.

  2. Automotive. after-run.

Origin of run-on

First recorded in 1900–05; adj., noun use of verb phrase run on

Words Nearby run-on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use run-on in a sentence

  • I have computed the figures for The Fatal Dowry in regard to double or feminine endings and run-on lines.

    The Fatal Dowry | Philip Massinger
  • The French name enjambement is sometimes used to designate a "run-on" line.

  • There is always a pause at the end of a line in Old English; run-on lines are uncommon.

    The Translations of Beowulf | Chauncey Brewster Tinker
  • The dominant characteristic of this verse is its avoidance of enjambement, or run-on lines, still more of run-on couplets.

    English Verse | Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.
  • There is a fairly free use of run-on lines; according to Schipper, 35 in the first 250 of the translation.

    English Verse | Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.

British Dictionary definitions for run on

run on

  1. (intr) to continue without interruption

  2. to write with linked-up characters

  1. printing to compose text matter without indentation or paragraphing

  1. printing

    • text matter composed without indenting

    • (as modifier): run-on text matter

    • a word added at the end of a dictionary entry whose meaning can be easily inferred from the definition of the headword

    • (as modifier): a run-on entry

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with run-on


Keep going, continue; also, remain in effect. For example, That murder trial has been running on for months, or How much longer can this debt be allowed to run on? [Late 1500s]

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