road·​run·​ner | \ ˈrōd-ˌrə-nər How to pronounce roadrunner (audio) \

Definition of roadrunner

: a largely terrestrial bird (Geococcyx californianus) of the cuckoo family that has a long tail and a crest, is a speedy runner, and inhabits arid regions from the southwestern U.S. to Mexico also : a closely related bird (G. velox) of Mexico and Central America

Illustration of roadrunner

Illustration of roadrunner

Examples of roadrunner in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Out in the remoteness of small-town Arizona, the desert has delighted them with the occasional roadrunner sighting. New York Times, "Covid Combat Fatigue: ‘I Would Come Home With Tears in My Eyes’," 25 Nov. 2020 Real coyotes can run up to 40 mph — twice as fast as the typical roadrunner. René A. Guzman,, "Coyote sightings common at San Antonio Spurs games and, increasingly, in the wild," 24 Nov. 2020 The greater roadrunner is the larger of the two and the only species that lives in the United States. Shaena Montanari, The Arizona Republic, "Just how fast is a roadrunner? 6 things to know about Arizona's iconic bird," 3 Sep. 2020 His roadrunner, dining cheerfully on a lizard, seems as familiar to us as a fellow customer at a neighborhood diner. Danny Heitman, The Christian Science Monitor, "What are birds doing? David Allen Sibley knows.," 20 May 2020 And just like in the cartoon, the real-life roadrunner escapes without a scratch. Fox News, "Coyote chases roadrunner on video: 'It's happening right now y'all!!!'," 15 May 2020 Mathur expects next year to continue the automatic admissions initiative, named Keep Running With Us as a nod to the roadrunner mascot. Alia Malik,, "UT San Antonio will automatically admit higher-performing seniors to grad school," 12 May 2020 Except for roadrunners outwitting coyotes, the desert supports no wildlife. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "Lake Pleasant is a desert oasis near Phoenix. Here's everything you can do there," 4 Mar. 2020 At the crack of dawn every morning I am awakened by the subtle sounds of rapidly beating hummingbird wings, the clacking of an approaching roadrunner, or the chattering of our small army of California quail. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Nature’s morning wake-up call on Mt. Whoville," 21 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'roadrunner.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of roadrunner

1856, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for roadrunner

Time Traveler

The first known use of roadrunner was in 1856

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Statistics for roadrunner

Last Updated

11 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Roadrunner.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for roadrunner


How to pronounce roadrunner (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of roadrunner

: a North American bird that lives in the desert and runs very fast


road·​run·​ner | \ ˈrōd-ˌrə-nər How to pronounce roadrunner (audio) \

Kids Definition of roadrunner

: a long-tailed bird that is found in dry regions of the southwestern United States and is able to run very fast

More from Merriam-Webster on roadrunner

Nglish: Translation of roadrunner for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about roadrunner

Comments on roadrunner

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