\ 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


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

Or that the spaceship Heart of Gold ran on something called an Infinite Improbability Drive. Steven Brykman, Ars Technica, "Douglas Adams was right: “Genuine people personalities” are coming to our gadgets," 22 Dec. 2018 Mika requested a stress test, which monitors how hard your heart is working while running on treadmill. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Doctors Kept Calling It Stress. Then I Learned I Had a 98% Blockage in My Heart.," 7 Feb. 2019 Several popular convenience stores and pharmacies like Rite Aid and CVS will also be up and running on December 25, though some locations may operate under a special holiday schedule. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Is Starbucks Open on Christmas?," 19 Oct. 2018 Some individual agencies and offices are well run and disciplined, but the White House from the president on down is substantially running on an ad hoc basis. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Trump attacks Kavanaugh accuser," 25 Sep. 2018 Roberto Firmino, Vigil van Dijk, Naby Keïta and Fabinho all have five years left to run on their contracts, as well as promising striker Rhian Brewster., "Liverpool Forward Offered 5-Year Contract as Details of Mohamed Salah's Extension Emerge," 2 July 2018 Democrat Richard Ojeda is leading his Republican opponent in West Virginia’s deep-red 3rd Congressional District—while running on an unapologetically left-wing platform that resembles the Bernie Sanders template in many respects. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Give the Left a Chance," 27 June 2018 Viacom purchased a majority stake in Bellator in 2011 when the fights were running on MTV2. Marisa Guthrie, The Hollywood Reporter, "Bellator and Perform Group Strike Major Streaming Deal," 26 June 2018 Three races will be on the ballot, and all candidates run on a single ballot. Kevin Richert, idahostatesman, "AJ Balukoff won’t seek re-election to Boise school board," 25 June 2018

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

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on run-on

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with run-on Encyclopedia article about run-on

Comments on run-on

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


having no equal

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