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

Vince Lombardi was someone that both Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon talked to about being their running mate. Eric Johnson, Recode, "‘The NFL is like a drug lord and football is like crack,’ says ‘Big Game’ author Mark Leibovich," 10 Sep. 2018 Maybe that would all be OK, but the offensive line takes a step back, which means the 14 running backs are all held down and Mahomes is forced into far too many quick and desperate decisions. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Whit not an All-Star (?), Jeff Long and KU, Chiefs fears, Odom's crossroads," 10 July 2018 Wednesday’s running of the Bertrando Stakes at Los Alamitos was a celebration of age as Soi Phet, at 10 years old, won the race. John Cherwa,, "Racing! The sad part of horse racing," 6 July 2018 Hazard and Lukaku are better known for their offensive fireworks, but played crucial roles here with their tireless running off the ball and strong hold-up play, which helped relieve pressure during Brazil’s second-half rally. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "Belgium’s Golden Generation Delivers on Promise With a Run to World Cup Semifinal," 6 July 2018 Both, in their different styles, terrified Brazil with their direct running. Jonathan Wilson,, "Belgium's Golden Generation Shines Brightest in Ousting Brazil From World Cup," 6 July 2018 The 34-year-old running back will be in Philadelphia this week. Zach Berman,, "Eagles begin mandatory minicamp Tuesday; here's what you need to know," 12 June 2018 As David Johnson makes his push for a comeback, the running back is seeking some more assurances about his future. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "David Johnson skipping Cardinals' mandatory minicamp, per report," 12 June 2018 Valerie Ervin, who replaced the late Kevin Kamenetz at the top of the ticket after his unexpected death last month, tried to force the State Board of Elections to reprint the ballots to show her running for governor, not lieutenant governor. Rachel Chason, Washington Post, "Judge says Vignarajah is eligible to run for governor," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Delaware legislature voted in favor of sports betting and it was signed into law nearly a decade ago, in May 2009 — as the state was seeking a running start as a regional tourist attraction. Christopher Keating,, "Delaware Sports Betting Starts Next Week, Connecticut Still Negotiating," 1 June 2018 Around the same time, a water pipe burst when a slab of concrete fell from the basement ceiling, shutting off the building's running water for most of the day. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's old police HQ: Escapes, vanishing evidence, bird corpses," 9 Mar. 2018 Leigh Anne Sharek, a minor celebrity in the New York running scene, who was wearing bib No. 2, said that in many women’s races, the female voice is amplified, but there’s a girly-girl aspect that’s hard to escape. Pia Peterson, New York Times, "Road Race of the Superwomen," 5 July 2018 Horsethief, which doesn't have running water in its campgrounds, needs another host for this year. Chadd Cripe, idahostatesman, "Transformation continues at popular Idaho campground. But it isn't fully open yet. | Idaho Statesman," 21 May 2018 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

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 2018

Look-up Popularity

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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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