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

Ashley Alese Edwards is a journalist and former Miss Long Island who placed third runner up at Miss New York USA. Glamour, "For Black Beauty Queens, Natural Hair Is An Act Of Defiance," 6 May 2019 The mother, played by Adriana Barraza, drugs unsuspecting drug runners and human traffickers and drowns them in a nearby lake, justifying her actions as ridding the world of evil people. Alanna Bennett, Teen Vogue, "Camila Mendes Is Taking It All in Stride," 1 May 2019 To help the contestants out, former Idol runner up and current Queen lead singer Adam Lambert returned to the show. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Did 'American Idol' Insult Freddie Mercury on Last Night's Queen Episode? Fans Think So," 29 Apr. 2019 Then in the eighth, reliever Mychal Givens whipped a pitch to second to pick off Isiah Kiner-Falefa, eliminating a runner in scoring position. Katherine Fominykh,, "Orioles ride rookie Yefry Ramírez to beat error-riddled Rangers, 1-0," 15 July 2018 Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton talked about throwing a runner out at the plate in the eighth inning during Wednesday's 7-4 win over the Chicago White Sox and the team's rising confidence. Bobby Nightengale,, "Cincinnati Reds' Billy Hamilton has taken 2 or 3 potential homers away from Matt Carpenter," 14 July 2018 Advertising Robinson Chirinos led off the sixth with a hustling double and Josh Reddick followed with an infield single, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Mariners keep home run streak alive but two Houston grand slams too much to overcome," 13 Apr. 2019 If you're not named the winner, don't worry—there are still two more prizes for the second and third runners-up. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "You Could Become The Owner of This Gorgeous Italian Villa—For Free," 3 Apr. 2019 There are more blue tones in the stair runner from Melrose Carpets and a gorgeous custom table by Ken Peterson grounds the space. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "Reath Design Crafts a Bright, Elegant Home for a Young Family," 22 Mar. 2019

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

14 May 2019

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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 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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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

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


using a distributed computer network

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