runaway

noun
run·​away | \ ˈrə-nə-ˌwā How to pronounce runaway (audio) \

Definition of runaway

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one that runs away from danger, duty, or restraint : fugitive
2 : the act of running away out of control also : something (such as a horse) that is running out of control
3 : a one-sided or overwhelming victory

runaway

adjective

Definition of runaway (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : running away : fugitive
b : leaving to gain special advantages (such as lower wages) or avoid disadvantages (such as governmental or union restrictions) runaway shipping firms a runaway shop
2 : accomplished by elopement or during flight
3 : won by or having a long lead a runaway success also : extremely successful a runaway best seller
4 : subject to uncontrolled changes runaway inflation
5 : being or operating out of control a runaway oil well a runaway nuclear reactor

run away

verb
ran away; run away; running away; runs away

Definition of run away (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to leave quickly in order to avoid or escape something
b : to leave home especially : elope
2 : to run out of control : stampede, bolt
3 : to gain a substantial lead : win by a large margin
run away with
1 : to take away in haste or secretly especially : steal
2 : to outshine the others in (something, such as a theatrical performance)
3 : to carry or drive beyond prudent or reasonable limits your imagination ran away with you

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Examples of runaway in a Sentence

Adjective

The play was a runaway success. a region plagued by runaway suburban sprawl

Verb

ran away from an unhappy marriage the child runs away from large dogs
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the months since, a growing number of Saudi runaways have also used social media to raise awareness about the treatment of Saudi women and publicize their own pleas for asylum. Time Staff, Time, "The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet," 16 July 2019 According to the release, Wrench is a habitual runaway and has runaway over ten times in the last two years. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Police: Missouri City teen reported missing may be victim of human trafficking," 2 July 2019 The 1996 movie Freeway recasts the wolf as a serial killer and Little Red Riding Hood as a teenage runaway. Ferris Jabr, Harper's magazine, "The Story of Storytelling," 10 Mar. 2019 Both teens were wanted for probation violations and under warrants as runaways for escaping from custody. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Viral Video Shows Michigan Police Officer Punching Handcuffed Teen Girl," 18 June 2019 The federal government was prevented from introducing a head tax on slaves, and free states were forbidden from harboring runaways from slave states. Nicholas Guyatt, The New York Review of Books, "How Proslavery Was the Constitution?," 6 June 2019 Some female Saudi runaways fleeing abuse by their families have been caught trying to seek asylum abroad in recent years. Trevor Marshallsea, The Seattle Times, "Thai, Saudi officials meet over case of young Saudi woman," 8 Jan. 2019 In response, county child welfare leaders sent a letter to state officials in September saying Mary Graham was providing more mental health services and had taken steps to reduce the number of runaways from the shelter, among other changes. Joaquin Palomino, San Francisco Chronicle, "Girl’s undue jailing exemplifies plight of foster youth in custody," 17 Feb. 2018 If the runaways of New York Fashion Week are any indication, then sparkly makeup isn't going anywhere. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Models in Jeremy Scott's New York Fashion Week Show Wore Foil Lipstick," 7 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Pennywise is the beacon of nightmares in the upcoming sequel to the runaway success that was 2017’s IT, based on Stephen King’s popular 1986 horror novel. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "IT Chapter Two Is Getting Terrifying 'Clowns Only' Screenings Across the Country," 2 Aug. 2019 That runaway success has given some analysts pause. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, "Beyond Meat spooks investors with discounted stock," 1 Aug. 2019 View Sample Sign Up Now The runaway success of Nanette looms large over Douglas. Trish Bendix, Time, "Hannah Gadsby’s New Show Douglas Takes a Hammer to the Patriarchy—Again," 25 July 2019 Over here in the United States, bossa nova became a full-blown phenomenon with the runaway success of Gilberto’s 1962 album with jazz saxophonist Stan Getz. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "João Gilberto sang lullabies to the future," 7 July 2019 Biolite Headlamp 200 Price: $40 Biolite takes a lot of the design features that made its 330-lumen headlamp a runaway success, and offers it in a more affordable package with fewer lumens, but no rear battery. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "All the Coolest New Gear From Outdoor Retailer 2019," 21 June 2019 Johnson is the runaway favorite to win the contest when the result is announced Tuesday. Washington Post, "Lawmakers impede next UK leader’s path to a no-deal Brexit," 18 July 2019 Last year, the Owls were considered runaway favorites in the division following their conference title in 2017. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, "Preseason poll: FAU picked to finish third in Conference USA East Division," 16 July 2019 That’s a far cry from being the runaway favorites the past three seasons, but having the fourth-best odds proves folks aren’t ready to discount any team led by Stephen Curry and Draymond Green with a half-season of Klay Thompson. Jon Becker, The Mercury News, "Why oddsmakers haven’t given up on Warriors winning a title," 9 July 2019

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

Noun

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

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

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Statistics for runaway

Last Updated

6 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for runaway

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

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More Definitions for runaway

runaway

noun

English Language Learners Definition of runaway

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: someone (such as a child) who leaves home without permission : someone who runs away from home

runaway

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of runaway (Entry 2 of 2)

used to describe a person who has left home without permission or who has escaped from some place
: operating, running, increasing, etc., in a fast and dangerous way that cannot be controlled
: extremely successful

runaway

noun
run·​away | \ ˈrə-nə-ˌwā How to pronounce runaway (audio) \

Kids Definition of runaway

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : someone who leaves a place (as home) secretly without intending to return
2 : a horse that is running out of control

runaway

adjective

Kids Definition of runaway (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having left a place secretly with no intention of returning
2 : escaping from control a runaway horse

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More from Merriam-Webster on runaway

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with runaway

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for runaway

Spanish Central: Translation of runaway

Nglish: Translation of runaway for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of runaway for Arabic Speakers

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