run·​way | \ ˈrən-ˌwā \

Definition of runway 

1a : a beaten path made by animals
b : a passageway for animals
2 : a paved strip of ground on a landing field for the landing and takeoff of aircraft
3a : a narrow platform from a stage into an auditorium
b : a platform along which models walk in a fashion show
5 : the area or path along which a jumper, pole vaulter, or javelin thrower runs

Examples of runway in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

On February 1950, while testing an experimental ramjet, the airplane received substantial damage after sliding off the runway during landing. Chris Clarke, Popular Mechanics, "Super-Rare XP-82 Twin Mustang Flies Again After Decade-Long Restoration," 4 Jan. 2019 And on Sunday, the night belonged to Donatella Versace, who held her pre-fall 2019 runway show at the New York Stock Exchange. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Donatella Versace Recreated J. Lo's Iconic Green Dress and Amber Velletta Modeled It," 3 Dec. 2018 Erroneous signals from that single sensor, which began as the plane lifted off the runway and continued throughout the roughly 11-minute flight, resulted in a cascade of stall warnings and other cockpit alerts. Ben Otto, WSJ, "Maintenance Lapse Identified as Initial Problem Leading to Lion Air Crash," 25 Dec. 2018 Instead, the 2018 Fashion Show opens with Kendall Jenner vamping down the runway to the song, in a plaid skirt and bra. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show sells a fantasy of empowerment. I sorta believed it.," 3 Dec. 2018 The best part of the job was seeing all the new clothes fresh off the runway and also seeing celebrities come into the offices. Ariana Marsh, Teen Vogue, "How iPad Artist Jeremy Martin Is Making Waves in the Fashion Industry," 26 Nov. 2018 One by one, the WB-57s slowly rolled down the runway at Ellington Airport and then began a slow climb upward into resplendent clear, blue skies. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Three high-flying birds soar together for the first time since the 1970s," 11 Nov. 2018 Authorities in South Carolina said two people were killed Thursday when a mid-sized jet ran off the runway and split in two. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Two dead after jet runs off South Carolina runway," 27 Sep. 2018 The drapey teal top and drawstring trousers straddle the line between luxurious and comfortable — a rare quality in a look that’s straight off the runway. Lindsay Peoples, The Cut, "A Cute Date-Night Outfit That’s Actually Comfortable," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'runway.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of runway

1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about runway

Dictionary Entries near runway


run up

run up against


run wild



Statistics for runway

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for runway

The first known use of runway was in 1828

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for runway



English Language Learners Definition of runway

: a long strip of ground where airplanes take off and land

: a raised structure along which models walk in a fashion show


run·​way | \ ˈrən-ˌwā \

Kids Definition of runway

1 : a path beaten by animals in going to and from feeding grounds
2 : a paved strip of ground on a landing field for the landing and takeoff of aircraft

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on runway

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with runway

Spanish Central: Translation of runway

Nglish: Translation of runway for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of runway for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about runway

Comments on runway

What made you want to look up runway? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


involving abstract or general statements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!