\ ˈrən-ˈȯn How to pronounce run-on (audio) , -ˈän \

Definition of run-on

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: continuing without rhetorical pause from one line of verse into another


\ ˈrən-ˌȯn How to pronounce run-on (audio) , -ˌän \

Definition of run-on (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : something (such as a dictionary entry) that is run on

run on

ran on; run on; running on; runs on

Definition of run on (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to talk or narrate at length
2 : to keep going : continue

transitive verb

1 : to continue (matter in type) without a break or a new paragraph : run in
2 : to place or add (something, such as an entry in a dictionary) at the end of a paragraphed item

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Examples of run-on in a Sentence

Verb we were just running on about how neither of us has aged a bit after all these years allow the savings account to run on for now
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The 70-yard touchdown run on the opening play of Michigan's second possession. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's revamped offensive line dominated in first game together vs. Minnesota," 27 Oct. 2020 Hydrogen vehicles run on electricity created through an on-board fuel cell that generates zero emissions. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Why the next truck you see may be a quiet, zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell rig," 26 Oct. 2020 Most of them run on gasoline engines that pump out carbon emissions. Peter Behr, Scientific American, "U.S. Cities’ Actions Fall Short of Lofty Climate Goals," 22 Oct. 2020 Most of them run on gasoline engines that pump out carbon emissions. Peter Behr, Science | AAAS, "U.S. cities struggling to meet lofty climate goals," 22 Oct. 2020 Has any candidate for the U.S. presidency ever run on less than Joe Biden this year? Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Trump, Biden, Hunter, Chaos," 21 Oct. 2020 Christmas light projectors either run on a battery or power cord. Jennifer Blair,, "The best Christmas light projector," 17 Oct. 2020 The parades generally run on select days from February through April, although next year's dates have not been announced. Dominic Massa,, "The late Blaine Kern, at home in window of Universal Studios Florida," 17 Oct. 2020 This will run on low frequencies meaning less spectacular speed boosts but broad coverage. Will Knight, Wired, "How Apple Built 5G Into Its New iPhones," 14 Oct. 2020

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


1874, in the meaning defined above


1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for run-on

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The first known use of run-on was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Run-on.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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