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See more synonyms for runaway on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person who runs away; fugitive; deserter.
  2. a horse or team that has broken away from control.
  3. the act of running away.
  4. a decisive or easy victory.
  5. a young person, especially a teenager, who has run away from home.
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  1. having run away; escaped; fugitive.
  2. (of a horse or other animal) having escaped from the control of the rider or driver.
  3. pertaining to or accomplished by running away or eloping: a runaway marriage.
  4. easily won, as a contest: a runaway victory at the polls.
  5. unchecked; rampant: runaway prices.
  6. Informal. deserting or revolting against one's group, duties, expected conduct, or the like, especially to establish or join a rival group, change one's life drastically, etc.: The runaway delegates nominated their own candidate.
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Origin of runaway

First recorded in 1505–15; noun, adj. use of verb phrase run away


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

escaped, delinquent, uncontrolled, escapee, fugitive, lawbreaker, wild, running, absconder, truant, deserter, maroon, offender, disorderly, loose

Examples from the Web for runaway

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The peculiar feelings one has who is a "runaway" are indescribable.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • Neither was hurt, but it was the woman who pursued the runaway horse.

    The Truth About Woman

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • But I took you for a youngster, you know, a regular ten-year-old runaway.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • A man may arrest his own slave, and he may also imprison for safe-keeping the runaway slave of a friend.



  • To-morrow morning I'll be searching all over the house for my runaway.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

Word Origin and History for runaway


1540s, "one who flees," from verbal phrase, from run (v.) + away (adv.). Meaning "an act of running away" is from 1724.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper