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

Definition of runner

1a : one that runs : racer
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 The runner-up, California Sen. Kamala Harris, received 18%. Joe Garofoli,, "Will Bernie Sanders’ backers get behind Biden? Key endorsement vote will be a sign," 1 July 2020 Kevin Harvick, driving the No. 4 Ford for Stewart Haas Racing, had a terrific weekend at Pocono, winning Saturday and finishing runner-up Sunday. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, "6 things to know as NASCAR approaches the Brickyard 400," 1 July 2020 Mercy was the state runner-up in the 2017-2018 season. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "Mercy high school basketball coach Keith Baisch announces his retirement," 30 June 2020 Last year’s runner-up got hot last week with a T-11 finish at the Travelers Championship. Esten Mclaren, USA TODAY, "Fantasy golf power rankings for the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic," 30 June 2020 The Tour’s 91-day suspension of play due to the global pandemic came at a good time for Johnson, who hadn’t recorded a top-5 finish since a runner-up at the PGA Championship last May. Adam Schupak, The Arizona Republic, "Dustin Johnson rallies for 21st PGA Tour win at Travelers Championship," 29 June 2020 Duncanville won a state title in girls basketball, was a state runner-up in football and reached the boys basketball state tournament that was never completed. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "UIL won’t name Lone Star Cup champions for first time, but Dallas-area schools were dominating," 26 June 2020 Last year’s runner-up, Daniel Snoey, remains alive after routing Oregon State’s Shawn Lu 5 and 4 during the round of 16. oregonlive, "Oregon State’s Ellie Slama runs her Oregon Amateur win streak to 12 matches, No. 1 men’s seed Robbie Ziegler falls," 25 June 2020 Last season Brown's Warren Easton near New Orleans for a team that went 11-4 and was state runner-up. Scott Springer,, "Transfer of Ohio State commit Jyaire Brown gives Lakota West football top junior talent," 16 June 2020

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

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Runner.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for runner


How to pronounce runner (audio)

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
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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