1

runaway

noun run·away \ ˈrə-nə-ˌwā \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of runaway

1 :one that runs away from danger, duty, or restraint :fugitive
2 :the act of running away out of control; also :something (such as a horse) that is running out of control
3 :a one-sided or overwhelming victory

Recent Examples of runaway from the Web

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

First Known Use of runaway

1534


2

runaway

adjective

Definition of runaway

1 a :running away :fugitive
b :leaving to gain special advantages (such as lower wages) or avoid disadvantages (such as governmental or union restrictions)
  • runaway shipping firms
  • a runaway shop
2 :accomplished by elopement or during flight
3 :won by or having a long lead
  • a runaway success
; also :extremely successful
  • a runaway best seller
4 :subject to uncontrolled changes
  • runaway inflation
5 :being or operating out of control
  • a runaway oil well
  • a runaway nuclear reactor

Examples of runaway in a Sentence

  1. The play was a runaway success.

  2. a region plagued by runaway suburban sprawl

Recent Examples of runaway from the Web

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

First Known Use of runaway

1548


run away

verb

Definition of run away

1 a :to leave quickly in order to avoid or escape something
b :to leave home; especially :elope
2 :to run out of control :stampede, bolt
3 :to gain a substantial lead :win by a large margin
run away with
intransitive verb
1 :to take away in haste or secretly; especially :steal
2 :to outshine the others in (something, such as a theatrical performance)
3 :to carry or drive beyond prudent or reasonable limits
  • your imagination ran away with you

Examples of run away in a Sentence

  1. ran away from an unhappy marriage

  2. the child runs away from large dogs

First Known Use of run away

before 12th century


RUNAWAY Defined for English Language Learners

runaway

noun

Definition of runaway for English Language Learners

  • : someone (such as a child) who leaves home without permission : someone who runs away from home


runaway

adjective

Definition of runaway for English Language Learners

  • —used to describe a person who has left home without permission or who has escaped from some place

  • : operating, running, increasing, etc., in a fast and dangerous way that cannot be controlled

  • : extremely successful


RUNAWAY Defined for Kids

1

runaway

noun run·away \ ˈrə-nə-ˌwā \

Definition of runaway for Students

1 :someone who leaves a place (as home) secretly without intending to return
2 :a horse that is running out of control

2

runaway

adjective

Definition of runaway for Students

1 :having left a place secretly with no intention of returning
2 :escaping from control
  • a runaway horse


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to praise usually to excess

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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