run·​ning | \ ˈrə-niŋ How to pronounce running (audio) \

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)

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

Noun He took up running for exercise. They go running every evening. Adjective 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. Adverb 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 Despite the loss to LSU, and even though the Crimson Tide is likely out of the running for an SEC championship, Alabama still has a decent chance of getting into the Playoff. Matt Zenitz |, al, "Why Alabama still has decent chance of getting into College Football Playoff," 11 Nov. 2019 The Party Secretary of industrial city Chongqing, Chen Min'er, was reported to be in the running for a seat on the Communist Party's Standing Committee. Ben Westcott, CNN, "China's top political body met in secret and issued an ominous message to Hong Kong," 1 Nov. 2019 The duo stars together on Apple Plus' new series The Morning Show Watch out, Charlie Puth — Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon just might be in the running for knowing the most Friends trivia! Ashley Boucher,, "Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon Take a Friends Quiz — and They Totally Crush It," 1 Nov. 2019 Also consider: Yet, not long after his appointment to succeed Patterson, Coulter dropped out of the running for the seat in Lansing. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "David Coulter to run for Oakland County executive in 2020," 31 Oct. 2019 McGruder's opportunity for a meaningful contribution could come down to whether the Clippers find a place in the eventual Andre Iguodala derby or get in the running for another veteran at the buyout deadline. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Ex-Heat still raising temperatures elsewhere | Commentary," 26 Oct. 2019 Google suddenly dropped out of the running for JEDI in October 2018. Wired, "Microsoft Is the Surprise Winner of a $10B Pentagon Contract," 25 Oct. 2019 The Coyotes are in the running for a Division 1 playoff berth. Eric Sondheimercolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Calabasas football coach Chris Claiborne returns to USC to earn his degree," 9 Oct. 2019 The award comes with a $5,000 and Muñoz is also now in the running for national teacher of the year honors, which are typically awarded in the spring. oregonlive, "Portland marching band stages 8-hour performance, Oregon teacher of the year named: The week in education," 5 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Despite the film's relatively brief running time, parents will likely be checking their watches more often than not. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Playing With Fire': Film Review," 7 Nov. 2019 Half the cast spends half the running time fixing the Falcon, like refugees baling water off a Swiss cheese lifeboat. Darren Franich,, "Star Wars rewatch: The Empire Strikes Back is the special effects movie that hates special effects," 30 Oct. 2019 Approximate running time: 100 minutes without intermission. Andrea Simakis, cleveland, "‘Pipeline’ at Cleveland Play House marries message and artistry to take aim at the school-to-prison pipeline," 22 Oct. 2019 While most rail service in the country has resumed, over 50,000 homes still lack electricity and more than 30,000 don't have running water. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Why Japan's Sky Turned Surreal," 14 Oct. 2019 There’s really no way to start talking about Martin Scorsese’s new gangster movie, The Irishman, without mentioning its running time. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman Is the Dad Movie of the Year," 28 Sep. 2019 Auburn cut its running game loose vs. Kent State with 467 yards on the ground, its highest total in three years. Creg Stephenson |, al, " All-Access: The real season starts now, is Auburn ready?," 17 Sep. 2019 Approximate running time: 120 minutes, with one intermission. Andrea Simakis,, "Dobama Theatre opens 60th season with ‘Stupid (Bleeping) Bird,’ a meta fine sendup of Chekhov’s ‘The Seagull’," 13 Sep. 2019 The 49ers’ initial roster includes three running backs: Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert. Eric Branch,, "49ers’ Jerick McKinnon sidelined for another season; Azeez Al-Shaair makes the cut," 31 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for running

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for running

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

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More Definitions for running


How to pronounce running (audio)

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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