v. & n.
--v. (running; past ran; past part. run)
1. intr. go with quick steps on alternate feet, never having both or all feet on the ground at the same time.
2 intr. flee, abscond.
3 intr. go or travel hurriedly, briefly, etc.
4 intr. a advance by or as by rolling or on wheels, or smoothly or easily. b be in action or operation (left the engine running).
5 intr. be current or operative; have duration (the lease runs for 99 years).
6 intr. (of a bus, train, etc.) travel or be travelling on its route (the train is running late).
7 intr. (of a play, exhibition, etc.) be staged or presented (is now running at the Apollo).
8 intr. extend; have a course or order or tendency (the road runs by the coast; prices are running high).
9 a intr. compete in a race. b intr. finish a race in a specified position. c tr. compete in (a race).
10 intr. (often foll. by for) seek election (ran for president).
11 a intr. (of a liquid etc. or its container) flow or be wet; drip. b tr. flow with.
12 tr. a cause (water etc.) to flow. b fill (a bath) with water.
13 intr. spread rapidly or beyond the proper place (ink ran over the table; a shiver ran down my spine).
14 intr. Cricket (of a batsman) run from one wicket to the other in scoring a run.
15 tr. traverse or make one's way through or over (a course, race, or distance).
16 tr. perform (an errand).
17 tr. publish (an article etc.) in a newspaper or magazine.
18 a tr. cause (a machine or vehicle etc.) to operate. b intr. (of a mechanism or component etc.) move or work freely.
19 tr. direct or manage (a business etc.).
20 tr. own and use (a vehicle) regularly.
21 tr. take (a person) for a journey in a vehicle (shall I run you to the shops?).
22 tr. cause to run or go in a specified way (ran the car into a tree).
23 tr. enter (a horse etc.) for a race.
24 tr. smuggle (guns etc.).
25 tr. chase or hunt.
26 tr. allow (an account) to accumulate for a time before paying.
27 intr. Naut. (of a ship etc.) go straight and fast.
28 intr. (of salmon) go up river from the sea.
29 intr. (of a colour in a fabric) spread from the dyed parts.
30 a intr. (of a thought, the eye, the memory, etc.) pass in a transitory or cursory way (ideas ran through my mind). b tr. cause (one's eye) to look cursorily (ran my eye down the page).
31 intr. (of hosiery) ladder.
32 intr. (of a candle) gutter.
33 intr. (of an orifice, esp. the eyes or nose) exude liquid matter.
34 tr. sew (fabric) loosely or hastily with running stitches.
35 tr. turn (cattle etc.) out to graze.
1. an act or spell of running.
2 a short trip or excursion, esp. for pleasure.
3 a distance travelled.
4 a general tendency of development or movement.
5 a rapid motion.
6 a regular route.
7 a continuous or long stretch or spell or course (a metre's run of wiring; had a run of bad luck).
8 (often foll. by on) a a high general demand (for a commodity, currency, etc.) (a run on the dollar). b a sudden demand for repayment by a large number of customers of (a bank).
9 a quantity produced in one period of production (a print run).
10 a general or average type or class (not typical of the general run).
11 a Cricket a point scored by the batsmen each running to the other's wicket, or an equivalent point awarded for some other reason. b Baseball a point scored usu. by the batter returning to the plate after touching the other bases.
12 (foll. by of) free use of or access to (had the run of the house).
13 a an animal's regular track. b an enclosure for fowls. c a range of pasture.
14 a ladder in hosiery.
15 Mus. a rapid scale passage.
16 a class or line of goods.
17 a batch or drove of animals born or reared together.
18 a shoal of fish in motion.
19 a trough for water to run in.
20 US a small stream or brook.
21 a a single journey, esp. by an aircraft. b (of an aircraft) a flight on a straight and even course at a constant speed before or while dropping bombs. c an offensive military operation.
Phrases and idioms:
at a (or the) run running. on the run
1. escaping, running away.
2 hurrying about from place to place.
1. bustle; hurry from one person or place to another.
2 (esp. of children) play or wander without restraint.
1. happen to meet.
2 (foll. by to) make a brief journey or a flying visit (to a place).
1. pursue with attentions; seek the society of.
2 give much time to (a pursuit etc.).
3 pursue at a run. run against happen to meet. run along colloq. depart.
1. Brit. take from place to place by car etc.
2 deceive or evade repeatedly.
3 (often foll. by with) sl. engage in sexual relations (esp. casually or illicitly). run-around n. (esp. in phr. give a person the run-around) deceit or evasion. run at attack by charging or rushing.
1. get away by running; flee, abscond.
3 (of a horse) bolt.
run away with
1. carry off (a person, stolen property, etc.).
2 win (a prize) easily.
3 accept (a notion) hastily.
4 (of expense etc.) consume (money etc.).
5 (of a horse) bolt with (a rider, a carriage or its occupants). run a blockade see BLOCKADE.
1. knock down or collide with.
2 reduce the strength or numbers of (resources).
3 (of an unwound clock etc.) stop.
4 (of a person or a person's health) become feeble from overwork or underfeeding.
5 discover after a search.
1. a reduction in numbers.
2 a detailed analysis.
1. decayed after prosperity.
2 enfeebled through overwork etc. run dry cease to flow, be exhausted. run for it seek safety by fleeing. a run (or a good run) for one's money 1 vigorous competition.
2 pleasure derived from an activity. run foul of collide or become entangled with (another vessel etc.). run the gauntlet see GAUNTLET(2). run a person hard (or close) press a person severely in a race or competition, or in comparative merit.
1. (of the sea) have a strong current with a high tide.
2 (of feelings) be strong. run in 1 run (a new engine or vehicle) carefully in the early stages.
2 colloq. arrest.
3 (of a combatant) rush to close quarters.
4 incur (a debt).
1. the approach to an action or event.
2 a quarrel. run in the family (of a trait) be common in the members of a family.
1. collide with.
3 reach as many as (a specified figure).
4 fall into (a practice, absurdity, etc.).
5 be continuous or coalesce with. run into the ground colloq. bring (a person) to exhaustion etc. run it fine see FINE(1). run its course follow its natural progress; be left to itself. run low (or short) become depleted, have too little (our tea ran short; we ran short of tea).
2 produce (copies etc.) on a machine.
3 decide (a race or other contest) after a series of heats or in the event of a tie.
4 flow or cause to flow away.
5 write or recite fluently.
6 digress suddenly.
1. an additional competition, election, race, etc., after a tie.
2 an amount of rainfall that is carried off an area by streams and rivers.
3 NZ a separate area of land where young animals etc. are kept. run off one's feet very busy. run-of-the-mill ordinary, undistinguished.
1. (of written characters) be joined together.
2 continue in operation.
4 speak volubly.
5 talk incessantly.
6 Printing continue on the same line as the preceding matter.
1. come to an end; become used up.
2 (foll. by of) exhaust one's stock of.
3 put down the wicket of (a batsman who is running).
4 escape from a containing vessel.
5 (of rope) pass out; be paid out.
6 jut out.
7 come out of a contest in a specified position etc. or complete a required score etc. (they ran out worthy winners).
8 complete (a race).
9 advance (a gun etc.) so as to project.
10 exhaust oneself by running. run-out n. the dismissal of a batsman by being run out. run out on colloq. desert (a person).
2 study or repeat quickly.
3 (of a vehicle or its driver) pass over, knock down or crush.
4 touch (the notes of a piano etc.) in quick succession.
5 (often foll. by to) go quickly by a brief journey or for a flying visit. run ragged exhaust (a person). run rings round see RING(1). run riot see RIOT. run a (or the) risk see RISK. run the show colloq. dominate in an undertaking etc. run a temperature be feverish.
1. examine or rehearse briefly.
3 deal successively with.
4 consume (an estate etc.) by reckless or quick spending.
7 pierce with a sword etc.
8 draw a line through (written words).
1. a rehearsal.
2 a brief survey.
1. have the money or ability for.
2 reach (an amount or number).
3 (of a person) show a tendency to (runs to fat).
4 a be enough for (some expense or undertaking). b have the resources or capacity for.
5 fall into (ruin).
run to earth
1. Hunting chase to its lair.
2 discover after a long search. run to meet anticipate (one's troubles etc.). run to seed see SEED.
1. accumulate (a debt etc.) quickly.
2 build or make hurriedly.
3 raise (a flag).
4 grow quickly.
5 rise in price.
6 (foll. by to) amount to.
7 force (a rival bidder) to bid higher.
8 add up (a column of figures).
9 (foll. by to) go quickly by a brief journey or for a flying visit.
1. (often foll. by to) the period preceding an important event.
2 Golf a low approach shot. run up against meet with (a difficulty or difficulties). run upon (of a person's thoughts etc.) be engrossed by; dwell upon. run wild grow or stray unchecked or undisciplined or untrained.
Etymology: OE rinnan