\ ˈrən-ˌin How to pronounce run-in (audio) \

Definition of run-in

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 British : the final part of a race or racetrack
3 : something inserted as a substantial addition in copy or typeset matter

run in

ran in; run in; running in; runs in

Definition of run in (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to insert as additional matter
b : to make (typeset matter) continuous without a paragraph or other break
2 : to arrest for a usually minor offense
3 chiefly British : to break in (a new machine) gradually by careful operation

intransitive verb

: to pay a casual visit

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Examples of run-in in a Sentence

Verb I just thought I'd run in and pick up my package. if we catch you shoplifting again, we're going to run you in
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Along with the controversial candidacy of Bill Fawell, other Republicans running in the primary are Esther Joy King of East Moline and Eugene Farrell of Roseville. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: Chicago’s ex-top breaks silence, issues statement via lawyer denying he purposely misled mayor, public," 2 Dec. 2019 An affinity for multitasking The vulnerability is found in a function known as TaskAffinity, a multitasking feature that allows apps to assume the identity of other apps or tasks running in the multitasking environment. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Vulnerability in fully patched Android phones under active attack by bank thieves," 2 Dec. 2019 In a stunning rebuke to Beijing, Hong Kong residents gave an overwhelming majority to pro-democracy candidates running in local elections held Sunday. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Stung by Hong Kong vote, China slams Reuters report on liaison office shake-up," 26 Nov. 2019 Twenty-four Democrats and eight Republicans filed before the Nov. 20 deadline to run in a special primary election in the 7th Congressional District. Luke Broadwater,, "Recovering at home, congressional candidate Maya Rockeymoore Cummings says double mastectomy was ‘liberating’," 25 Nov. 2019 Quiñonez and the second boy ran in the other direction. Evan Sernoffsky,, "At age 12, he watched his brother get killed. Now SF teen is accused of revenge slaying," 25 Nov. 2019 The work orders kept coming — resurfacing a tub, bathroom shower drips, looking for water in the basement and a mold check, water running in the master bath, loose kitchen floor tiles, bulging walls in the master bedroom. Sig Christenson,, "Family fled sewage-contaminated house on San Antonio base," 24 Nov. 2019 Shannon Brooks had a nine-yard touchdown run in between. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers get back on track in 38-22 win over Northwestern," 23 Nov. 2019 The latest example comes from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat elected in 2016 and preparing for a reelection run in 2020. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Why Are Democratic Governors Still Doing Favors for the Oil Industry?," 22 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'run-in.' 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 run-in


1799, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

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Time Traveler for run-in

Time Traveler

The first known use of run-in was in 1799

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Cite this Entry

“Run-in.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for run-in


How to pronounce run in (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of run-in

informal : an angry argument


\ ˈrən-ˌin \

Kids Definition of run-in

: an angry argument

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More from Merriam-Webster on run-in

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for run-in

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with run-in

Spanish Central: Translation of run-in

Nglish: Translation of run-in for Spanish Speakers

Comments on run-in

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to assail by words or arguments

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