\ ˈrən-ˌəp How to pronounce run-up (audio) \

Definition of run-up

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of running up something
2 : a usually sudden increase in volume or price
3 : a period immediately preceding an action or event

run up

ran up; run up; running up; runs up

Definition of run up (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to grow rapidly : shoot up

transitive verb

1 : bid up
2 : to stitch together quickly
3 : to erect hastily
4 : to achieve by accumulating ran up a big lead

Examples of run-up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Video shows Dempsey running up to the man and spraying bear repellent into his face as the other men hold him down. The Washington Post, al, "Man in MAGA hat sprays bear repellent on Trump protesters, police say," 21 Oct. 2019 Eventually, economies must find that rising demand runs up against supply constraints. The Economist, "The rich worldEconomists’ models of inflation are letting them down," 10 Oct. 2019 New public filings show that Trump's golf resort north of Aberdeen, Scotland, ran up losses of more than a million pounds last year -- the latest in a years-long losing streak. Stephen Collinson And Caitlin Hu, CNN, "Meanwhile in America: Trump and the NBA are ditching all-American values," 8 Oct. 2019 Not long after that hit, which drew an eruption from the sellout crowd, Habibi-Likio added a career-long 11-yard run up the middle. oregonlive, "In most meaningful snaps of his career, Cyrus Habibi-Likio delivers critical runs for Oregon Ducks against Cal," 6 Oct. 2019 Patrick Buckley said the cat — who’s mostly white with some brown and gray spots — reportedly ran up a tree to get away from whatever scared her. Emily Brindley,, "Cat, stuck in tree for five days, rescued by Farmington firefighters," 26 Sep. 2019 Edward Gallagher says in a complaint filed in federal court in Texas on Friday that the lawyers ran up legal bills while not doing their jobs., "News of the Day From Across the Nation, Sept. 17," 17 Sep. 2019 Edward Gallagher said in a complaint filed in federal court in Texas on Friday that Colby Vokey and Phillip Stackhouse, both retired Marines and prominent military attorneys, ran up legal bills while not doing their jobs. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Navy SEAL acquitted of murder sues his former lawyers," 17 Sep. 2019 Its shares soared 89% from the start of the year and then continued the run up during the first few days of 2020, rising above $300 after analysts said the company had a strong holiday season. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Apple Starts 2020 With Soaring Shares, Talk of a Notchless iPhone," 4 Jan. 2020

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


1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Time Traveler for run-up

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The first known use of run-up was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Run-up.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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How to pronounce run up (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of run-up

: a usually sudden increase in price
: the period immediately before an action or event

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with run-up

Comments on run-up

What made you want to look up run-up? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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