run·ning | \ ˈrə-niŋ \

Definition of running 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the action of running

b : race

2 : physical condition for running

in the running

1 : competing in a contest

2 : having a chance to win a contest

out of the running

1 : not competing in a contest

2 : having no chance of winning a contest



Definition of running (Entry 2 of 3)

2 : fluid, runny

3a : incessant, continuous a running battle

b : made during the course of a process or activity a running commentary on the game

4 : measured in a straight line cost of lumber per running foot

5a : initiated or performed while running or with a running start a running catch a running jump

b : of, relating to, or being a football play in which the ball is advanced by running rather than by passing their running game was off

c : designed for use by runners a running track running shoes

6 : fitted or trained for running rather than walking, trotting, or jumping a running horse



Definition of running (Entry 3 of 3)

: in succession : consecutively three days running

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Examples of running in a Sentence


He took up running for exercise. They go running every evening.


Never add fuel to a running engine. The farmer had a running battle with pests and disease. The major television stations provided running commentaries on the election results. She kept a running total of their expenses on the trip.


He has won the competition three times running. he won the championship five times running
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sarri's Napoli was a team that attacked relentlessly with free-flowing ball movement and constant running, just like City under Guardiola. Steve Douglas,, "Chelsea replace Conte with former Napoli boss Sarri," 14 July 2018 Those in the running and Olympic communities have been honoring him on social media in the days since his passing, including USA Track and Field and the U.S. Olympic Team. Staff Report,, "U.S. Olympic Team, USA Track And Field Honor Lindy Remigino On Social Media," 13 July 2018 On Tuesday, Jacoby Hudson, McCoy’s lawyer in last year’s eviction case, told the New York Times the running back had been training in Miami at the time the incident at his Atlanta home occurred. Rob Tornoe,, "Ex-girlfriend blames LeSean McCoy in 911 tape: 'My face is demolished'," 13 July 2018 The running back corps features Darius Anderson, who rushed for 768 yards and eight rushing TDs last season, as well as Sewo Olonilua and freshman Fabian Franklin. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Here’s where the media picked TCU in preseason football poll," 12 July 2018 Owens posted video last month on his Instagram account that appears to show two stopwatch operators capturing the 44-year-old running 40-yard dashes in 4.43 and 4.44 seconds. Dave Clark,, "Pro Football Hall of Fame won't introduce Terrell Owens at Gold Jacket Dinner or induction," 12 July 2018 Core 10 Be Warm Thermal Fitted Run Hoodie: The ultimate lightweight thermal, this hoodie is perfect for all-season running; just pull it on and go. Susan Brickell,, "Amazon Just Leaked an Early Prime Day Deal—and It’s Perfect for Fitness Junkies," 12 July 2018 Enormous expanses of Denali National Park are accessed only by true adventurers; there’s no electricity, no running water, and hardly any structures. Carey Jones, Vogue, "On a Remote Glacier in the Middle of Alaska, I Learned the Magic of Disconnecting," 12 July 2018 But amid rising public outrage and a running tab of court challenges, Trump reportedly stopped separating families last month. Laignee Barron, Time, "Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai Criticizes the Trump Administration's 'Inhumane' Family Separation Policy," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And in a year when Seattle had little running game after losing Curt Warner to injury in the first game, Knox devised an unusual strategy for the playoff showdown with the Raiders — centering the offense around burly running back Dan Doornink. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Top five moments from Chuck Knox’s Seahawks tenure," 13 May 2018 At that time, the county also expressed safety concerns, noting the facility did not have running water, restrooms or fire sprinklers, according to court documents. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Will County addresses growing demand for barn weddings, beekeeping and tasting rooms," 11 July 2018 Along with running education programs for homeless children, Barrand is now doing something her corporate career never prepared her for: spearheading a major real estate project., "Five things you should know about Kate Barrand," 16 June 2018 And when a 49-year-old woman was grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground at 5:35 a.m. on April 9, the attacker tried to pull off her running clothes. Tonya Alanez,, "Security guard admits to 10 sexually motivated attacks in Coral Springs, cops say," 24 Apr. 2018 Andrew Wise concludes his series in Citius Mag about spending much of the spring in a van on a long, running road trip. Ken Goe,, "Did Hayward's east grandstand get in the way of a 9-lane track? Oregon track & field rundown," 8 May 2018 For the running world, the success of the Japanese was no surprise. Kathryn Tolbert, Washington Post, "The Japanese once ruled the Boston Marathon. A war bride’s son recalls the slurs.," 15 Apr. 2018 Formal practices won't begin until October, but the Jaguars have already begun the offseason conditioning work that will help them adapt to Riley's running style on offense and full-court pressure on defense. Creg Stephenson,, "South Alabama basketball coach Richie Riley on staff, recruiting, Auburn series & Final Four dreams," 12 Apr. 2018 The future of running shoes takes shape inside a 45,000-square-foot lab in Kobe, Japan. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "How Running Shoes Changed Over 25 Years," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'running.' 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 running


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1719, in the meaning defined above

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Learn More about running

Statistics for running

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for running

The first known use of running was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for running



English Language Learners Definition of running

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the activity or sport of running

: the activity of managing or operating something

: the activity of bringing drugs, guns, etc., to a place illegally and secretly



English Language Learners Definition of running (Entry 2 of 3)

: operating or flowing

: going on steadily or repeatedly for a long period of time

: made during the course of a process or activity



English Language Learners Definition of running (Entry 3 of 3)

: following or happening one after the other

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Comments on running

What made you want to look up running? 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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