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

Peraza’s hit ended the Reds’ 0-for-19 slump with runners in scoring position. Bobby Nightengale,, "Billy Hamilton's defense, 3 runs lead the Cincinnati Reds past the Pittsburgh Pirates," 17 June 2018 So when Brock Holt stepped up to the plate with a runner on first, Roberts took the proactive approach and brought in Scott Alexander. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Red Sox Extend World Series Lead, Beating Dodgers in Game 4," 28 Oct. 2018 The call was overturned, giving New York a runner on second with one out. Ronald Blum, The Seattle Times, "Hernandez reversed on 3 of 4 replays in Yanks-Red Sox Game 3," 8 Oct. 2018 Teams are hitting just .198 against Anderson with runners on base, going a combined 26 for 131. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Game Day: Patrick Corbin in good form, will start for Diamondbacks at Rockies," 9 July 2018 With runners on the corners, Javier Baez hit a two-run single on an 0-2 pitch, a ground ball that snuck past Reds shortstop Jose Peraza. Bobby Nightengale,, "Cincinnati Reds' Riggleman on loss to Cubs: 'We're beyond the point of moral victories'," 8 July 2018 The 26-year-old left-hander entered Thursday’s game with none out and two runners on in the sixth inning. Kevin Acee,, "Padres notes: Hedges' offense; Strahm's fire; Lauer's longevity," 6 July 2018 With runners on the corners and one out, Nicholas Castellanos struck out swinging at a curveball. George Sipple, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers rally comes up short in 7-5 loss to Texas Rangers," 5 July 2018 Meantime, the Golden State Warriors have emerged as front-runners for Manny. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty: Imagine if the Reds were buyers instead of sellers at MLB trade deadline," 13 July 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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Statistics for runner

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on runner

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with runner

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for runner

Spanish Central: Translation of runner

Nglish: Translation of runner for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of runner for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about runner

Comments on runner

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having a pattern of small flowers

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