verb \ˈrən\
Updated on: 26 Jul 2017

Definition of run


play \ˈran\ also chiefly dialectal






  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1a :  to go faster than a walk; specifically :  to go steadily by springing steps so that both feet leave the ground for an instant in each stepb of a horse :  to move at a fast gallopc :  flee, retreat, escape dropped the gun and rand :  to utilize a running play on offense —used of a football team

  3. 2a :  to go without restraint :  move freely about at will let chickens run looseb :  to keep company :  consort a ram running with ewes ran with a wild crowd when he was youngc :  to sail before the wind in distinction from reaching or sailing close-hauledd :  roam, rove running about with no overcoat

  4. 3a :  to go rapidly or hurriedly :  hasten run and fetch the doctorb :  to go in urgency or distress :  resort runs to mother at every little difficultyc :  to make a quick, easy, or casual trip or visit ran over to borrow some sugar

  5. 4a :  to contend in a raceb :  to enter into an election contest will run for mayor

  6. 5a :  to move on or as if on wheels :  glide file drawers running on ball bearingsb :  to roll forward rapidly or freelyc :  to pass or slide freely a rope runs through the pulleyd :  to ravel lengthwise stockings guaranteed not to run

  7. 6 :  to sing or play a musical passage quickly run up the scale

  8. 7a :  to go back and forth :  ply the train runs between New York and Washingtonb of fish :  to migrate or move in considerable numbers; especially :  to move up or down a river to spawn

  9. 8a :  turn, rotate a swiftly running grindstoneb :  function, operate the engine runs on gasoline software that runs on her computer

  10. 9a (1) :  to continue in force, operation, or production the contract has two more years to run the play ran for six months (2) :  to have a specified duration, extent, or length the manuscript runs nearly 500 pagesb :  to accompany as a valid obligation or right a right-of-way that runs with the landc :  to continue to accrue or become payable interest on the loan runs from July 1

  11. 10 :  to pass from one state to another run into debt

  12. 11a :  to flow rapidly or under pressureb :  melt, fusec :  spread, dissolve colors guaranteed not to rund :  to discharge liquid (such as pus or serum) a running sore

  13. 12a :  to develop rapidly in some specific direction; especially :  to throw out an elongated shoot of growthb :  to tend to produce or develop a specified quality or feature they run to big noses in that family

  14. 13a :  to lie in or take a certain direction the boundary line runs eastb :  to lie or extend in relation to somethingc :  to go back :  reachd (1) :  to be in a certain form or expression the letter runs as follows (2) :  to be in a certain order of succession

  15. 14a :  to occur persistently musical talent runs in the familyb (1) :  to remain of a specified size, amount, character, or quality profits were running high (2) :  to have or maintain a relative position or condition (as in a race) ran third running latec :  to exist or occur in a continuous range of variation shades run from white to dark gray

  16. 15a :  to spread or pass quickly from point to point chills ran up her spineb :  to be current :  circulate speculation ran rife

  17. transitive verb
  18. 1a :  to cause (an animal) to go rapidly :  ride or drive fastb :  to bring to a specified condition by or as if by running ran himself to deathc :  to go in pursuit of :  hunt, chase dogs that run deerd :  to follow the trail of backward :  trace ran the rumor to its sourcee :  to enter, register, or enroll as a contestant in a racef :  to put forward as a candidate for officeg :  to carry (the football) on a running play

  19. 2a :  to drive (livestock) especially to a grazing placeb :  to provide pasturage for (livestock)c :  to keep or maintain (livestock) on or as if on pasturage

  20. 3a (1) :  to pass over or traverse with speed (2) :  to run on or over in athletic competition runs the bases well run the floorb :  to accomplish or perform by or as if by running ran a great race run errandsc :  to slip or go through or past run a blockade run a red lightd :  to travel on in a boat run the rapids

  21. 4a :  to cause to penetrate or enter :  thrust ran a splinter into her toeb :  stitchc :  to cause to pass :  lead run a wire in from the antennad :  to cause to collide ran his head into a poste :  smuggle run guns

  22. 5 :  to cause to pass lightly or quickly over, along, or into something ran her eye down the list

  23. 6a :  to cause or allow (a vehicle or a vessel) to go in a specified manner or direction ran the car off the roadb :  operate run a lathec :  to direct the business or activities of :  manage, conduct run a factoryd :  to employ or supervise in espionage run an agent

  24. 7a :  to be full of or drenched with streets ran bloodb :  contain, assay

  25. 8a :  to cause to move or flow in a specified way or into a specified position run cards into a fileb :  to cause to produce a flow (as of water) run the faucet; also :  to prepare by running a faucet run a hot bath

  26. 9a :  to melt and cast in a mold run bulletsb :  treat, process, refine run oil in a still run a problem through a computer

  27. 10 :  to make oneself liable to :  incur ran the risk of discovery

  28. 11 :  to mark out :  draw run a contour line on a map

  29. 12a :  to permit (charges) to accumulate before settling run a tab at the bar —often used with up ran up a large phone billb :  cost 1 rooms that run $50 a night

  30. 13a :  to produce by or as if by printing —usually used with off ran off 10,000 copies of the first editionb :  to carry in a printed medium :  print every newspaper ran the story

  31. 14a :  to make (a series of counts) without a miss run 19 in an inning in billiardsb :  to lead winning cards of (a suit) successivelyc :  to alter by addition ran his record to six wins and four losses

  32. 15 :  to make (a golf ball) roll forward after alighting

  33. 16 baseball :  to eject (a player, coach, or manager) from a game Ron Luciano ran Weaver early in game one of a doubleheader in 1975, and then ran him again during the lineup meeting prior to the start of game two. — Jeff Burd

run across

  1. :  to meet with or discover by chance

run a fever


run a temperature

  1. :  to have a fever

run after

  1. 1 :  pursue, chase; especially :  to seek the company of

  2. 2 :  to take up with :  follow run after new theories

run against

  1. 1 :  to meet suddenly or unexpectedly

  2. 2 :  to work or take effect unfavorably to :  disfavor, oppose

run a tight ship

  1. :  to have strict and exacting standards in controlling or managing something (such as a business)

run by


run past

  1. :  to present to (as for evaluation) ran some ideas by her

run circles around


run rings around

  1. :  to show marked superiority over :  defeat decisively or overwhelmingly

run dry

  1. 1 :  to use up an available supply

  2. 2 :  to become exhausted or spent his inspiration had run dry

run interference

  1. :  to provide assistance by or as if by clearing a path through obstructions ran interference for me with the press

run into

  1. 1a :  to change or transform into :  becomeb :  to merge withc :  to mount up to their yearly income often runs into six figures

  2. 2a :  to collide withb :  to meet by chance ran into an old classmate the other day

run low on

  1. :  to approach running out of running low on options

run one's mouth

  1. :  to talk excessively or foolishly

run riot

  1. 1 :  to act wildly or without restraint

  2. 2 :  to occur in profusion daffodils running riot

run short

  1. :  to become insufficient

run short of

  1. :  to use up :  run low on

run the numbers

  1. :  to perform calculations

run the table

  1. 1 :  to sink all remaining shots without missing in pool

  2. 2 :  to win all remaining contests

run to

  1. :  to mount up to the book runs to 500 pages

run upon

  1. :  to run across :  meet with

run with

  1. 1 :  to use or exploit fully :  make the most of took the idea and ran with it

  2. 2 :  to publicize widely the press ran with the quote

Using run in the Past Tense

The past tense run still survives in speech in southern England and in the speech especially of older people in some parts of the U.S. It was formerly used in literature, and was a standard variant in our dictionaries from 1828 until 1934. Grammarians have generally opposed it, and many people consider it nonstandard. Just about everybody uses ran in writing now.

Examples of run in a Sentence

  1. How fast can you run?

  2. He runs faster than anyone else on the team.

  3. She ran up the stairs to get her jacket.

  4. We ran for the train—but missed it.

  5. I heard her scream and ran to help.

  6. She ran to me for help.

  7. The dog ran away from me.

  8. The dog ran toward me.

  9. When I called the dog, he came running.

  10. Don't expect me to come running every time you want something. I'm not your servant.

Origin and Etymology of run

Middle English ronnen, alteration of rinnen, intransitive verb (from Old English iernan, rinnan & Old Norse rinna) & of rennen, transitive verb, from Old Norse renna; akin to Old High German rinnan, intransitive verb, “to run,” Sanskrit riṇāti “he causes to flow,” and probably to Latin rivus “stream”




Definition of run

  1. 1a :  an act or the action of running :  continued rapid movementb :  a quickened gallopc :  a migration of fish (as up or down a river) especially to spawn; also :  such fish in the process of migrationd :  a running race a mile rune :  a score made in baseball by a runner reaching home plate safelyf :  strength or ability to rung :  a gain of a usually specified distance made on a running play in football scored on a 25-yard run; also :  a running playh :  a sustained usually aggressive effort (as to win or obtain something) making a run at the championship

  2. 2a chiefly Midland :  creek 2b :  something that flows in the course of an operation or during a particular time the first run of sap in sugar maples

  3. 3a :  the stern of the underwater body of a ship from where it begins to curve or slope upward and inwardb :  the direction in which a vein of ore liesc :  a direction of secondary or minor cleavage :  grain the run of a mass of granited :  a horizontal distance (such as that covered by a flight of steps)e :  general tendency or direction

  4. 4 :  a continuous period or series especially of things of identical or similar sort a run of bad luck: such asa :  a rapid passage up or down a scale in vocal or instrumental musicb :  a number of rapid small dance steps executed in even tempoc :  the act of making successively a number of successful shots or strokes; also :  the score thus made a run of 20 in billiardsd :  an unbroken course of performances or showings a long run on Broadwaye :  a set of consecutive measurements, readings, or observationsf :  persistent and heavy demands from depositors, creditors, or customers a run on a bankg :  sequence 2b

  5. 5 :  the quantity of work turned out in a continuous operation a press run of 10,000 copies

  6. 6 :  the usual or normal kind, character, type, or group the average run of students

  7. 7a :  the distance covered in a period of continuous traveling or sailingb :  a course or trip especially if mapped out and traveled with regularityc :  a news reporter's regular territory :  beatd :  freedom of movement in or access to a place or area has the run of the house

  8. 8a :  the period during which a machine or plant is in continuous operationb :  the use of machinery for a single set of processing procedures a computer run

  9. 9a :  a way, track, or path frequented by animalsb :  an enclosure for domestic animals where they may feed or exercisec Australia (1) :  a large area of land used for grazing a sheep run (2) :  ranch, station run-holderd :  an inclined passageway

  10. 10a :  an inclined course (as for skiing or bobsledding)b :  a support (such as a track, pipe, or trough) on which something runs

  11. 11a :  a ravel in a knitted fabric (as in hosiery) caused by the breaking of stitchesb :  a paint defect caused by excessive flow

  12. 12 runs plural in form but singular or plural in construction :  diarrhea —used with the


play \-ləs\ adjective

on the run

  1. 1 :  in haste :  without pausing ate lunch on the run

  2. 2 :  in retreat :  in flight (as from the law) an escaped convict on the run

run for one's money

  1. :  a serious challenge to one's supremacy is expected to give the incumbent a good run for his money

Examples of run in a Sentence

  1. He goes for a six-mile run every evening.

  2. She took the dogs out for a run.

First Known Use of run

15th century




Definition of run

  1. 1a :  being in a melted state run butterb :  made from molten material :  cast in a mold run metal

  2. 2 of fish :  having made a migration or spawning run a fresh run salmon

  3. 3 :  exhausted or winded from running

First Known Use of run


Financial Definition of RUN


What It Is

A run occurs when a flood of depositors withdraw their funds from a bank within a short time frame.

How It Works

It’s important to remember one thing about banks: They don’t keep your money in cash in a vault. Rather, when people deposit funds in a bank, the bank lends a portion of those funds out to people who want loans for houses, cars, businesses or whatever else. Accordingly, depositing $100 into your bank account doesn’t mean there is $100 sitting in the vault.

By lending out deposits, banks make money in the form of interest. However, they must keep a portion of those deposits on hand at all times to support the day-to-day inflow and outflow of funds that depositors need.

So, for example, let’s say that John Doe reads a rumor on the Internet that Bank XYZ is getting ready to go bankrupt. Worried about the money in his checking and savings account there, John runs over to the bank and withdraws all of his money. He also tells his sister, his nephews and his parents, who also withdraw their money. Rumors of Bank XYZ’s demise spread over the Internet like wildfire. Soon, more people withdraw their funds or transfer them to other banks.

The rumor is not true and Company XYZ [Bank XYZ?] is in fine financial health. But by this point, Bank XYZ has given out so much cash from its vault that now it really is having a hard time fulfilling the withdrawal requests from its customers. Now the news goes national, and every depositor of Company XYZ hears that you’d better get your money out now before there’s none left. The downward cycle continues.

Eventually, the withdrawals reach a point where Company XYZ is drained of cash, actually does become financially unstable, and goes under. The run becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Why It Matters

Bank runs can destabilize the banking system quickly, which is why the Federal Reserve sets a reserve requirement for banks. For example, let’s assume that Bank XYZ has $400,000,000 in deposits. If the Federal Reserve’s reserve ratio requirement is 10%, Bank XYZ must keep at least $40,000,000 in an account at a Federal Reserve bank and may not use that cash for lending or any other purpose. This ensures that Bank XYZ always has some money on hand to prevent a run. If a bank is unable to meet its reserve ratio, it can borrow from the Federal Reserve to meet the requirement.

RUN Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of run for English Language Learners

  • : to move with your legs at a speed that is faster than walking

  • : to leave a place quickly by running

  • : to run as part of a sport, for exercise, or in a race



Definition of run for English Language Learners

  • : an act of running

  • : a continuous series of similar things

  • : a continuous series of performances or showings

RUN Defined for Kids



verb \ˈrən\

Definition of run for Students






  1. 1 :  to go at a pace faster than a walk

  2. 2 :  to go rapidly or hurriedly She ran home to get her book.

  3. 3 :  to take to flight They saw the police and ran.

  4. 4 :  to pass over, across, or through She ran her fingers through her hair.

  5. 5 :  2function That old car is still running.

  6. 6 :  to cause to function Can you run this machine?

  7. 7 :  extend 2 The trail runs from here to the border.

  8. 8 :  to move freely about He let the animals run loose.

  9. 9 :  1flow 1 A brook runs through the field.

  10. 10 :  to be in charge of :  manage My pop runs a newspaper here in town. — Oliver Butterworth, The Enormous Egg

  11. 11 :  to do something by or as if by running I'm running errands.

  12. 12 :  to take part in a race

  13. 13 :  to move on or as if on wheels

  14. 14 :  to go back and forth often according to a fixed schedule The train runs between Boston and Chicago.

  15. 15 :  to migrate or move in schools The salmon are running early this year.

  16. 16 :  to continue in force The exhibit runs until the end of the month.

  17. 17 :  to pass into a specified condition The well ran dry.

  18. 18 :  to spread into another area The dyes are guaranteed not to run.

  19. 19 :  to give off liquid My nose is running.

  20. 20 :  to tend to develop a specified feature or quality The shirts run small.

  21. 21 :  to slip through or past They ran the blockade.

  22. 22 :  to cause to penetrate He ran a knife through the bread.

  23. 23 :  to cause to go The sheriff ran them out of town. I ran my car off the road.

  24. 24 :  to take on She ran the risk of being caught.

  25. 25 :  to print or broadcast Every channel runs the ad.

  26. 26 :  to be a candidate for office She ran for mayor.

  27. 27 :  to occur again and again The condition runs in the family.

run away

  1. :  to leave home secretly without intending to return

run into

  1. :  to meet by chance

run off

  1. :  to leave in a hurry

run out

  1. 1 :  to come to an end Time ran out before I finished.

  2. 2 :  to become used up Supplies were running out.

run out of

  1. :  to use up the available supply of We ran out of gas.

run over

  1. :  1overflow 1




Definition of run for Students

  1. 1 :  an act or the action of running He took the dog for a run.

  2. 2 :  a score made in baseball by a base runner reaching home plate

  3. 3 :  an enclosure for animals where they may feed and exercise

  4. 4 :  the usual or normal kind It's like the usual run of shops.

  5. 5 :  a continuous series especially of similar things We have had a long run of good luck.

  6. 6 :  sudden heavy demands from depositors, creditors, or customers There was a run on the bank.

  7. 7 :  the quantity of work turned out in a continuous operation

  8. 8 :  the distance covered in a period of continuous traveling

  9. 9 :  a regular course or trip

  10. 10 :  freedom of movement Our guests had the run of the house.

  11. 11 :  a way, track, or path frequented by animals a deer run

  12. 12 :  1slope 1 a ski run

  13. 13 :  a spot in knitted fabric that has unraveled My stocking has a run in it.

Medical Dictionary


intransitive verb \ˈrən\

Medical Definition of run


\ˈran\play ;




  1. :  to discharge fluid (as pus or serum) a running sore

run a fever


run a temperature

Law Dictionary


intransitive verb

Legal Definition of run




  1. 1a :  to be or continue to be in operation or effect b :  to proceed toward expiration or effectiveness statute of limitations began to run when she received notice of the injury — compare toll

  2. 2 :  to continue to accrue or become payable in an amount increasing with the passing of time interest running from a particular date

run with the land

  1. :  to pass as a right or encumbrance upon the transfer of real property the restrictive covenant ran with the land

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to relieve or lessen

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