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

Definition of running

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the action of running
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 Altogether, climate was discussed for more than 30 minutes between two debates with Trump and Biden, and one featuring their running mates Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California. Scott Waldman, Scientific American, "Climate Portion of Final Trump-Biden Debate Revolved Around Ending Oil, Wind 'Fumes'," 23 Oct. 2020 Both of the standard bearers and their running mates have campaigned in the state in recent days or will return later this week. Paul Steinhauser, Fox News, "The presidential election comes down to these 9 states," 21 Oct. 2020 Biden fared better, though not overwhelmingly, while voters split on their opinion of running mates Pence and Harris. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Summit County elections worker posts coronavirus nonsense on official account: This Week in the CLE," 13 Oct. 2020 Both candidates, and their running mates Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, have yet to discuss any of those issues on the debate stage. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "COVID-19 and health care have dominated the debates. But what about other key issues?," 9 Oct. 2020 One of his running mates, state Sen. Lupe Contreras, D-Avondale, tested positive for COVID-19 along with several members of his family in late April. Madeline Ackley, The Arizona Republic, "Wife of state Rep. Lorenzo Sierra says he is off ventilator, "breathing on his own"," 9 Oct. 2020 But Harris and Pence had nothing on their running mates, former VP Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, who a week earlier in their own debate took all of those ills, turned them up to 11, and threw in vicious personal attacks. Matt Simon, Wired, "Why These Cursed Debates Made You Feel So Upset," 9 Oct. 2020 The only debate between the presidential running mates, Vice President Mike Pence, a Republican, and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., happened Wednesday night. Author: Aaron Blake, Anchorage Daily News, "4 takeaways from the vice presidential debate," 8 Oct. 2020 Both have adopted a cautious approach on the trail, keeping in line with past running mates who, above all, are tasked with not hurting their party’s ticket. Steve Peoples,, "Plexiglass goes up for Pence-Harris vice-presidential debate tonight," 7 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective So far, the running game hasn’t reached its potential and the Ravens still haven’t found a way to come back and win against a quality opponent such as Kansas City. Mike Preston,, "Mike Preston’s first quarter report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens' 3-1 start | COMMENTARY," 8 Oct. 2020 That time and instruction produced a Cougars team anchored by a dominant running game through their first four games. Jonathan Saxon, The Courier-Journal, "Holy Cross using dominant running and intensity to fuel hot start," 7 Oct. 2020 Running on second-and-long has been a staple of Reich’s offense since arriving in Indianapolis, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, given his dedication to the running game. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Exploring Colts tendencies, why Frank Reich might be NFL’s most unpredictable play-caller," 7 Oct. 2020 The fourth-year junior outside linebacker hit Mond for a two-yard loss on a running play Saturday, then his pressure forced an off-target fourth-down pass at the end of the third quarter. Michael Casagrande |, al, "A look at Alabama’s pass rush after 2 games," 6 Oct. 2020 There’s a term that often goes with teams that lean on the running game. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Odell Beckham Jr.’s touchdowns show that run-leaning Browns, Kevin Stefanski far from conservative — This Week in the Cleveland Browns," 5 Oct. 2020 The Lions are awful on defense and don’t have much of a running game. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions stock watch: Matthew Stafford regressing, D’Andre Swift rising," 5 Oct. 2020 The Dolphins have played a quarter of the season already and still haven’t established a running game. Omar Kelly,, "Grades and stock up, stock down for Dolphins' 31-23 loss to Seahawks," 5 Oct. 2020 The score came amid an impressive Saints rebound from a 14-0 deficit in the game's opening minutes, led by strong efforts in the running game by Kamara and Latavius Murray, along with an impressive game from quarterback Drew Brees. Jeff Nowak,, "Alvin Kamara resetting Saints record book: See franchise records he hit with TD vs. Lions," 4 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for running

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for running

Last Updated

26 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Running.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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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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Comments on running

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