run·​about | \ ˈrə-nə-ˌbau̇t How to pronounce runabout (audio) \

Definition of runabout

1 : one who wanders about : stray
2 : a light usually open wagon, car, or motorboat

Examples of runabout in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even iconic Italian runabout boatmaker Riva stopped using wood for its hulls in 1996. Adam Graham, Robb Report, 3 Apr. 2022 Navier is also in the process of building its first 27-foot electric runabout, with three retractable foils. J. George Gorant, Robb Report, 21 Dec. 2021 Peterson says the combination of beauty, ride and comfort all make the Aquarama the iconic runabout. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 22 Nov. 2021 To be fair, Mini's starting price for the two-door Cooper hardtop, the fundamental model that defines this British runabout, has always been attractive. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, 4 Nov. 2021 The German automaker’s electric runabout has to accomplish just about everything that an average automobile is capable of. Matt Crisara, Popular Mechanics, 1 Oct. 2021 Someone at Chevrolet decided that the failing Corvair could be repositioned as an ideal runabout for women: rear-engined and thus light-steering, gutless enough not to frighten a spinster, cute as a button in pastel colors. Bruce Mccall, The New Yorker, 12 Dec. 2020 But of course things changed, and there would be no flights or hotels or runabout bicycles handed from one unsanitized tourist to another. Michael S. Hopkins, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 May 2020 From johnboats and small runabouts right down to kayaks, canoes, and even one-man pontoons and cata-rafts, there’s a rod holder that can turn any small boat into a fishing-catching machine. The Editors, Outdoor Life, 20 Nov. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'runabout.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Keep scrolling for more

First Known Use of runabout

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best commuter bikes.

Learn More About runabout

Time Traveler for runabout

Time Traveler

The first known use of runabout was in 1549

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near runabout



run about/round with

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for runabout

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Runabout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on runabout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for runabout Encyclopedia article about runabout


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!