\ˈrən-ˌin \

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


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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Synonyms & Antonyms for run-in

Synonyms: Noun

brush, encounter, hassle, scrape, skirmish

Synonyms: Verb

apprehend, arrest, bust [slang], collar, nab, nail, pick up, pinch, pull in, restrain, seize

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of run-in in a Sentence


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

McCaskill, who is running in a competitive re-election race in her home state, has made oversight of companies that manufacture and distribute painkillers a priority this Congress. Lev Facher, STAT, "System for reporting suspicious opioid orders repeatedly failed, report finds," 12 July 2018 Looking at the news that publications like TIME ran in the 1930s and ’40s shows that, in fact, Americans had lots of access to news about what was happening to Europe’s Jewish population and others targeted by the Nazi regime. Lily Rothman, Time, "'It's Not That the Story Was Buried.' What Americans in the 1930s Really Knew About What Was Happening in Germany," 10 July 2018 Wickens, who was running in third place at the time of yellow flag, said he was told the race would, indeed, resume green. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar: Late race confusion has Robert Wickens, SPM team manager irate," 8 July 2018 The mountain man’s already outsize legend only grew after his death, culminating in a TV show that ran in 1977-78. Gary Kamiya,, "The original Grizzly Adams kept his bears on a chain in SF," 7 July 2018 In fairness to Wall Street, simulations that were run in the academic world also saw Germany as a favorite to win or at least reach the finals. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "UBS, Commerzbank Models Predicted Germany Would Win the World Cup. Why Predicting Sports Is Bad Business," 27 June 2018 The stigma of the hyphen was evident in an August 29, 1943 piece that ran in Jackson, Mississippi’s daily newspaper, the Clarion-Ledger. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "SBOE debate highlights the cynical stigma of the hyphen," 16 June 2018 Among those whom Parson blocked was state Rep. Paul Curtman, a Franklin County Republican who is running in the GOP primary for state auditor. Tessa Weinberg And Jason Hancock, kansascity, "Greitens, Parson blocked people on social media. Parson says he’s stopping now," 14 June 2018 Kelli Ward, who is running in Arizona's Republican Senate primary, publicly praised Paul Nehlen in 2016 and 2017, including supporting Nehlen's unsuccessful 2016 primary bid to unseat House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin. Andrew Kaczynski, CNN, "GOP Senate candidate Kelli Ward disavows anti-Semite Paul Nehlen," 13 June 2018

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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Statistics for run-in

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Time Traveler for run-in

The first known use of run-in was in 1799

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More Definitions for run-in



English Language Learners Definition of run-in

: an angry argument



Kids Definition of run-in

: an angry argument

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Comments on run-in

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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