run·ner | \ ˈrə-nər \

Definition of runner 

1a : one that runs : racer

b : base runner

c : ballcarrier

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

Neuqua had the potential game-winning run at the plate in Ethan Schreier with two runners on and two outs in the eighth. Blake Baumgartner, Naperville Sun, "Middle men: Nick Taylor and Nolan Clifford answer call but Neuqua Valley loses in eight innings," 13 July 2018 The Diamondbacks scored twice in the third when Richard loaded the bases with two walks and hit batter and A.J. Pollock singled to bring in two of those runners. Kevin Acee,, "Wil Myers' homer matters this time, Padres down Diamondbacks in 16," 8 July 2018 Suter might have gotten the chance had the Brewers not gotten a pair of runners on when his spot came up in the seventh. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brent Suter bounces back quickly from first-pitch homer to dominate Cardinals," 21 June 2018 But after the Mets scored a run in the top of the third and had runners on second and third with no outs, Godley struck out the side. Scott Bordow, azcentral, "For Diamondbacks' Zack Godley, pitching is more about confidence than mechanics," 16 June 2018 Zunino has thrown out 10 of 24 runners for a 42 percent caught-stealing percentage. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Mike Zunino ranks second in MLB in throwing out base stealers. What’s behind the success?," 10 June 2018 There’s been a lot of great runners who have run it. Lori Riley,, "On A Cool Day, Kiplagat Breaks Course Record At Litchfield Hills Road Race," 10 June 2018 Only di Grassi and Bird of the front runners escaped sanction to finish well clear of the chasing pack, with Evans eventually finishing sixth, overtaken near the end by former champion Sebastien Buemi. CNN, "Formula E: Lucas di Grassi wins in Zurich as Sam Bird boosts title chances," 10 June 2018 The first Comrades was held in 1921 with only three dozen participants and commemorated South African soldiers who died in World War I. Today, race organizers allow a maximum of 20,000 runners. Washington Post, "South African man who survived impaling to run ultramarathon," 6 June 2018

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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Phrases Related to runner

do a runner

Statistics for runner

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for runner

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

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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 \

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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Comments on runner

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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