[ ruhn-ing ]
See synonyms for running on
  1. the act of a person, animal, or thing that runs.

  2. managing or directing: the running of a business.

  1. an act or instance of racing: the 113th running of the Kentucky Derby.

  2. the condition of a track or surface to be run or raced on: Our track team had muddy running today.

  3. the amount, quality, or type of a liquid flow.

  1. galloping, racing, moving, or passing rapidly.

  2. (of a horse)

    • going or proceeding rapidly at the gait of a gallop.

    • taught to proceed at a gallop.

  1. creeping or climbing, as plants: a running vine.

  2. moving or proceeding easily or smoothly.

  3. moving when pulled or hauled, as a rope.

  4. slipping or sliding easily, as a knot or a noose.

  5. operating or functioning, as a machine.

  6. (of measurement) linear; straight-line.

  7. cursive, as handwriting.

  8. flowing, as a stream.

  9. liquid or fluid.

  10. present; current: the running month.

  11. prevalent, as a condition or state: running prices.

  12. going or carried on continuously; sustained: a running commentary.

  13. extending or repeated continuously: a running pattern.

  14. performed with or during a run: a running leap.

  15. discharging pus or other matter: a running sore.

  16. Nautical. noting any of various objects or assemblages of objects that may be moved in ordinary use: running bowsprit;running gaff.

  17. Nautical, Machinery.

    • noting any block of a tackle that moves.

    • noting the part of the fall of a tackle that moves through the blocks (opposed to standing).

  1. in succession; consecutively: He slept badly for three nights running.

Idioms about running

  1. in the running,

    • participating or entered as a competitor.

    • under consideration as a candidate or possible choice: Who is still in the running for the directorship?

    • among the winners or those making a good showing.

  2. out of the running,

    • not competing in a contest or race.

    • not among the winners or runners-up in a contest or race: to finish out of the running.

Origin of running

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English; run + -ing1

Other words from running

  • well-running, adjective

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

How to use running in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for running


/ (ˈrʌnɪŋ) /

  1. maintained continuously; incessant: a running battle; running commentary

  2. (postpositive) without interruption; consecutive: he lectured for two hours running

  1. denoting or relating to the scheduled operation of a public vehicle: the running time of a train

  2. accomplished at a run: a running jump

  3. (of a knot) sliding along the rope from which it is made, so as to form a noose which becomes smaller when the rope is pulled

  4. (of a wound, sore, etc) discharging pus or a serous fluid

  5. denoting or relating to operations for maintenance: running repairs

  6. prevalent; current: running prices

  7. repeated or continuous: a running design

  8. (of certain plants, plant stems, etc) creeping along the ground

  9. flowing: running water

  10. (of handwriting) having the letters run together

  1. management or organization: the running of a company

  2. operation or maintenance: the running of a machine

  1. competition or a competitive situation (in the phrases in the running, out of the running)

  2. make the running to set the pace in a competition or race

  3. rare the power or ability to run

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 running


In addition to the idioms beginning with running

  • running on empty
  • running start

also see:

  • hit the ground running
  • in the running
  • meter is running
  • off and running

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