1 of 2


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

run up

2 of 2


ran up; run up; running up; runs up

intransitive verb

: to grow rapidly : shoot up

transitive verb

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

Examples of run-up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
And this week’s run-up to the 12th and (allegedly) final season of his long-running HBO comedy, Curb Your Enthusiasm, has been no exception. Kevin Dolak, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Feb. 2024 The overall market stayed hot even as the Federal Reserve hoisted interest rates, spurring a steep run-up in mortgage rates. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2024 Wall Street's recent run-up has been driven in part by expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates in the first half of the year amid a steady decline in inflation. CBS News, 22 Jan. 2024 Price levels have generally not reversed the big run-up that happened just after the pandemic. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, 3 Jan. 2024 Some analysts are warning that its run-up has been too speedy. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Dec. 2023 Shares in some of those firms have more than doubled this year, including a big run-up this month after the central bank signaled it is done lifting rates. Ben Eisen, WSJ, 27 Dec. 2023 But some political strategists and economists say the rapid run-up in prices since the pandemic could change that. Conor Dougherty, New York Times, 15 Dec. 2023 Economists widely expected the steep run-up in rates would cause a recession. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, 12 Dec. 2023
Suddenly, a man dressed in all black ran up to her, standing uncomfortably close near 5th and K streets NE. Olivia Diaz, Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2024 The Central Meteorological Observatory has already issued a blizzard warning for some of the affected region, with snow running up to 5 centimeters (nearly 2 inches) thick in some areas, according to its Chinese social media account. Chris Lau, CNN, 1 Feb. 2024 This Nicki sub might go underappreciated, but Meg shouting out the bot farms — the practice of using AI to automatically hit play on digital streaming apps — in Wisconsin or whatever running up streaming numbers for songs that none of us have heard outside Barbland is magical. Vulture, 26 Jan. 2024 The jagged road running up the hill and the side roads are still dirt; patches of pavement with leftover cement from construction speak to residents’ attempts to fix them themselves. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Jan. 2024 Police say Jones’ wife witnessed the shooting, and that an unidentified assailant ran up, shot him at least once and fled the area. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, 15 Jan. 2024 The more expensive liquor bottles run up to $7,000, but guests can purchase single glass pours that are still pricey, but only commit them to a partial bottle with the high-end price tag. Charlie Vargas, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Jan. 2024 In 2024, countermovements to take racist and classist history seriously will continue to run up against strong undercurrents of political scapegoating and zero-sum thinking throughout both countries, increasing the severity and reach of weathering. Arline Geronimus, WIRED, 19 Jan. 2024 DeSantis, in desperate pursuit of Donald Trump, has been running up the taxpayer tab. Fred Grimm, Sun Sentinel, 12 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'run-up.' 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


1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near run-up

Cite this Entry

“Run-up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

run up

: to cause to pile up : accumulate
ran up a big telephone bill

More from Merriam-Webster on run-up

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