run·​ner | \ ˈrə-nər How to pronounce runner (audio) \

Definition of runner

1a : one that runs : racer
2a : messenger
b : one that smuggles or distributes illicit or contraband goods (such as drugs, liquor, or guns)
3 : any of several large vigorous carangid fishes
4a : either of the longitudinal pieces on which a sled or sleigh slides
b : the part of a skate that slides on the ice : blade
c : the support of a drawer or a sliding door
5a : an elongated horizontal stem arising from the base of a plant especially : stolon sense 1a
b : a plant (such as a strawberry) that forms or spreads by means of runners
c : a twining vine (such as a scarlet runner bean)
6a : a long narrow carpet for a hall or staircase
b : a narrow decorative cloth cover for a table or dresser top
7 : an adjustable backstay running from mast to rail on a sail boat or ship
8 : a running shot in basketball

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Examples of runner in a Sentence

The runner slid into third base. sent a runner to tell them that all was ready for the feast
Recent Examples on the Web His teammates boast recent success on the circuit, with Scott Dixon (a three-time Detroit winner) having won Race 2 in 2019, the same race then-Arrow McLaren SP, current Ganassi driver Marcus Ericsson took runner-up. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 10 June 2021 The state runner-up in cross country this past fall, the junior edged his way up one step on the podium, taking the crown in the Division II 1,600 with a time of 4:19.72, just an eyelash ahead of Landen Smith of McDermott Northwest (4:19.75). Joe Magill, cleveland, 10 June 2021 Leading the way for the women was Kristina Eaton, who clocked 1:04:47 for a 17-second win over runner-up Amber Stull. Anchorage Daily News, 9 June 2021 The Gophers, who have eight seniors, including members of the state runner-up team in 2019, wrap up their season with a 9-4 mark. Glenn Graham,, 8 June 2021 Junior Alec Yaagoub was the state runner-up in economics while Julia Janowski placed second in 3D animation. Daily Southtown Staff,, 8 June 2021 Chiles continued her remarkable rise over the last six months, finishing runner-up to Biles for the second time in three weeks. Will Graves, Chron, 7 June 2021 Stone, 29, was a runner-up for the Selke Trophy back in the 2018-19 season. Mallory Schnell,, 7 June 2021 Gauff now meets Barbora Krejcikova, a 6-2, 6-0 winner against Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion and 2018 French Open runner-up., 7 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'runner.' 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 runner

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for runner

Time Traveler

The first known use of runner was in the 14th century

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Statistics for runner

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Runner.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for runner



English Language Learners Definition of runner

: a person who runs as part of a sport, for exercise, or in a race
: an animal (such as a horse) that runs in a race
: a person who delivers messages, reports, materials, or products either within a business or organization or to outside locations


run·​ner | \ ˈrə-nər How to pronounce runner (audio) \

Kids Definition of runner

1 : a person or animal that runs
2 : a thin piece or part on or in which something slides the runners on a sled
3 : messenger
4 : a slender creeping branch of a plant that roots at the end or at the joints to form new plants
5 : a long narrow carpet (as for a hall)


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