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 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, "My Life in Cars," 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, "In the staycation era, the art of deliberate escape," 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, "How to Select Rod Holders for Small Boats," 20 Nov. 2019 In 1908, mail-order pioneer Sears, Roebuck and Co. promoted the Simplex portable garage, a 12-foot-by-16-foot structure that sold for $83 when a rental spot for a touring car or runabout was $10 to $20 a month. oregonlive, "The secrets of your garage: The crazy history of Portland’s car shelters," 17 Oct. 2019 This runabout is aimed to tantalize younger buyers more attuned to cityscapes than suburban/rural areas. Frank A. Aukofer, Houston Chronicle, "2019 LEXUS UX 250h: Luxury hybrid comes with all-wheel drive," 14 July 2019 Choose from canoes, kayaks, standup paddleboards, pedal boats, runabouts, fishing boats, sailboats and pontoons. Sarah Kuta, The Know, "18 places you can rent a boat in landlocked Colorado," 8 July 2019 Boatsetter: Rent a boat (with a captain) With a portfolio of over 5,000 boats ranging from small runabouts and houseboats to larger yachts by owners, Boatsetter is a peer-to-peer rental company used to rent boats directly from owners. Adrienne Jordan, USA TODAY, "Swimming pools, RVs, farms and boats: Peer-to-peer rentals take cues from Airbnb," 4 June 2019 The boxy electric shuttles are based on Polaris Gems, the open runabouts that operate at some resorts and retirement communities. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "What to know about Detroit's self-driving shuttles," 26 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of runabout

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of runabout was in 1549

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Cite this Entry

“Runabout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of runabout

chiefly US : a small motorboat
chiefly British : a small car

More from Merriam-Webster on runabout

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

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