1 of 2


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

run in

2 of 2


ran in; run in; running in; runs in

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to pay a casual visit

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
Cardellini has also forged a successful TV career which includes roles in Freaks and Geeks, E.R., Mad Men, and Dead to Me. Sinbad as Mr. Wheat Playing Mr. Wheat — the school teacher whose run-in with Dexter sets off the entire movie — was Sinbad, real name David Adkins. Stephanie Sengwe, Peoplemag, 22 Nov. 2023 Despite numerous prior arrests and other run-ins with police, Dunkley, 38, has no criminal convictions, court records show. Omari Daniels, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2023 Along the way, the trio have would-be comic run-ins with a malevolent hawk, a hairless bear, a pair of feisty park rangers (comedian/actors Meg Stalter and X Mayo) and a weird mountain cult whose leader is played by SNL regular Bowen Yang. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Nov. 2023 Yet the potential remains for an unintended run-in. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Nov. 2023 The academic standout went her own way, into a profession that her family respected — and also into distanced relationships that provided her with buffer from Donald’s and Fred’s frequent run-ins with the law. Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2023 Time in the water meant exposure to poisonous snakes, untold bacteria, and run-ins with submerged thorns. Chico Harlan, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2023 Still, the cameras have captured some of his most intimate moments with his wife, including their engagement, his sperm donation during IVF and awkward run-ins with her ex. Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times, 29 Oct. 2023 Metallica’s Robert Trujillo is reflecting on a harrowing run-in he and his family had with the members of the Manson Family in the ‘70s. Sadie Bell, Peoplemag, 25 Oct. 2023
While still creating many dazzling action sequences with more modest resources, writer-director and visual effects supervisor Yamazaki also slyly slots in some ever-so-slightly wobbly effects, such as screaming extras running in front of what resembles old-school rear projection. Richard Kuipers, Variety, 22 Nov. 2023 The production only played a brief Miami run in 1997, but the songs were recorded for an album released a year later. Al Shipley, SPIN, 21 Nov. 2023 The ad was set to run in Florida and Washington, D.C., television markets on NFL Sunday Night Football, as well as on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show on days leading up to the governors’ debate on Nov. 30. Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times, 19 Nov. 2023 Diesel locomotives typically have a useful life of 40 years or more, but the regulation would bar those that are 23-years or older from running in the state after 2029. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 17 Nov. 2023 One of them smashed the glass front door with a hammer, running in to grab a print from an easel: a $100,000 lithograph by Marc Chagall. After removing the work from the gallery, the thieves carried it outside into the rain, where a Honda Accord was waiting. Teresa Nowakowski, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Nov. 2023 In 2007, Roth and cowriter Jeff Rendell created a faux trailer for the movie that ran in theaters during the Robert Rodriguez-Quentin Tarantino double feature Grindhouse and spent the years between developing it into a feature-length film. Tommy McArdle, Peoplemag, 16 Nov. 2023 Assembly districts elect two legislators each, and all candidates in the district run in the same race (the top two vote-getters are elected). Nathaniel Rakich, ABC News, 16 Nov. 2023 Across the country, 18 candidates ran in Houston’s nonpartisan mayoral election. Oren Oppenheim, ABC News, 8 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'run-in.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1799, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of run-in was in 1799

Dictionary Entries Near run-in

Cite this Entry

“Run-in.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: an angry dispute : quarrel

More from Merriam-Webster on run-in

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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