- an old or decayed tree stump.
- an old cow or ox.
- an ugly old woman; hag.
Origin of runt
Examples from the Web for runt
And by military standards and compared with everyone who was around there—he was a runt.Manning Is Guilty and So Is the Army That Sent Him Overseas|Brian Van Reet|August 22, 2013|DAILY BEAST
A runt from under the Mormon ditch; we raise bigger on our land.The Lady Doc|Caroline Lockhart
Catrine's a good lass enough, and a good-hearted, and lets herself be deaved all day with a runt of an auld wife like me.David Balfour, Second Part|Robert Louis Stevenson
And if he objected—as he usually did—they were sure to laugh and call him "Runt."The Tale of Grunty Pig|Arthur Scott Bailey
Then came a small fellow, Jasper Merriweather by name, whose one ambition it was to get out of the "runt" class.Great Hike|Alan Douglas
This breed is intermediate between the rock-pigeon and a very poor variety of Runt or Carrier.
Word Origin for runt
c.1500, "old or decayed tree stump," of unknown origin. Meaning extended to "small ox or cow" (1540s) and by 1610s generally to undersized animals and people. Specific American English sense of "smallest of a litter" (especially of pigs) is attested from 1841. Some see a connection to Middle Dutch runt "ox," but OED thinks this unlikely, and pronounces the word "of obscure origin." Related: Runty (1807).