[ruhn-awf, -of]
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  1. something that drains or flows off, as rain that flows off from the land in streams.
  2. a final contest held to determine a victor after earlier contests have eliminated the weaker contestants.
  3. a deciding final contest held after one in which there has been no decisive victor, as between two contestants who have tied for first place.
  4. Also called rundown. a continual or prolonged reduction, especially in quantity or supply: a runoff in bank deposits; a sharp runoff in business inventories.
  5. Stock Exchange. the final prices appearing on the ticker after the closing bell is rung for the trading day.

Origin of runoff

1850–55, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase run off; (def 2, 3) see -off Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for runoff

drainage, overflow

Examples from the Web for runoff

Contemporary Examples of runoff

Historical Examples of runoff

Word Origin and History for runoff

also run-off, "precipitation water drained by streams and rivers," 1887, from run (v.) + off (adv.). Meaning "deciding race after a tie" is from 1873; electoral sense is attested by 1910, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper