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

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 In 2015, Cooper was back with the Red Sox, commemorating a milestone for the 1975 World Series runner-up. Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 6 Aug. 2022 Joviality S, trying to become the third filly in five years to win the Hambletonian, returned $4.40 and $3.20 as runner-up with Brian Sears in the bike. Tom Canavan,, 6 Aug. 2022 Moten ended up staying on The Voice for the next three weeks, returning home on Dec. 16 as the official runner-up on the much-loved singing competition show. Tricia Despres, Peoplemag, 5 Aug. 2022 Kenny Burke isn’t downplaying expectations after his South Oldham High School girls soccer team lost several key players off last year’s squad that finished as the state runner-up. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, 4 Aug. 2022 Tagovailoa had won the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award, finished as the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy and earned consensus All-American recognition in 2018 and was widely thought to be playing his final season at Alabama in 2019. Mark Inabinett |, al, 3 Aug. 2022 Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan Mobley may be one soon. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 3 Aug. 2022 The winner and runner-up return to perform again the following year. Garret K. Woodward, Rolling Stone, 2 Aug. 2022 The grand-prize winner received $100,000 in funding for her business, while the runner-up received $50,000 in funding for her business. Essence, 2 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of runner

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near runner



runner's high

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Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Runner.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for runner


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)

More from Merriam-Webster on runner

Nglish: Translation of runner for Spanish Speakers

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


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