\ˈrən-ˈȯn, -ˈän\

Definition of run-on 

(Entry 1 of 3)

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


\ˈrən-ˌȯn, -ˌän\

Definition of run-on (Entry 2 of 3)

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

run 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

The event, sponsored by the Harry Miller Club, features Indy Champ Cars, Roadsters and Laydowns from before and after World War II running on the State Fair oval from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Things to do in Milwaukee this weekend, from Bastille Days and World Cup finale to historic Harleys," 12 July 2018 And nowhere to hide with the bullpen running on steam after turning in six innings Saturday and 11 more Sunday. Jeff Sanders,, "Again, Dodgers beat up on Padres' Luis Perdomo," 9 July 2018 With Hamilton running on contact from first base, Heyward’s grab likely saved two runs from scoring. Bobby Nightengale,, "Tyler Mahle pitches well again, Raisel Iglesias holds off Cubs in Cincinnati Reds win," 6 July 2018 There will be no commuter bus service with the exception of Route 201 running on a weekend/holiday schedule. Talia Richman,, "Fourth of July closings in Anne Arundel County," 2 July 2018 With the attacker program running on the same physical core as the victim program, these attacker can detect changes to the TLB as they're made. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Hyperthreading under scrutiny with new TLBleed crypto key leak," 25 June 2018 At its heart, that's what running should be about — flexibility and adaptation that comes from running on varied terrain. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, "When running gets monotonous, change the scenery or the soundtrack," 21 June 2018 The NCAA Outdoor Championships are June 6-9 at Hayward Field, so the Ducks will have the advantages of running on their home track, and the support of what should be a loud and vocal crowd., "Will the NCAA women's team title again come down to the 4x400? Oregon track & field rundown," 28 May 2018 This contrasts the approach of her opponent in the democratic primary election, Stacey Evans, who tried to appeal to white, suburban swing voters by running on a more moderate platform. Nicola Pardy,, "Stacey Abrams’ Alter Ego Might Be The Key To Winning Georgia’s Election," 25 May 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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Statistics for run-on

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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

See 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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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