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run - definition and synonyms


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verb run pronunciation in British English /rʌn/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlerunning
past tenseran
past participlerun
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  1. 1
    [intransitive] to move quickly to a place using your legs and feet
    You’ll have to run if you want to catch the bus.
    run across/into/down etc: A cat ran across the road in front of me.
    run to: I ran to the door and opened it.
    run for cover/shelter: We ran for shelter as soon as the rain started.
    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] to run in a race
      He’s running the 100m.
      run in: I’d love to run in the London Marathon.
      Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      [transitive] [usually passive] to have a race in a particular place or at a particular time
      The race will be run at 3 pm.
    3. c.
      [transitive] to run a particular distance
      How quickly can you run a mile?
      Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [transitive] to control and organize something such as a business, organization, or event
    Sue’s been running a mail-order business for ten years.
    run a campaign: He was the man who ran Clinton’s election campaign.
    1. a.
      to organize and provide something such as a service or course
      The shelter is run entirely by volunteers.
      The bus company runs a regular airport shuttle service.
  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] if a machine or engine runs, or if you run it, it is working
    Don’t leave the car engine running.
    I ran the dishwasher even though it wasn’t full.
    run on petrol/electricity etc: Does your car run on petrol or diesel?
    run off the mains (=use the electricity supply): My laptop can run off the mains or a battery.
    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] computing to start or to use a computer program
      Try running the program again and see if it works.
      run on: The software will run on any PC.
      run under: a spreadsheet package that runs under Windows or Unix
    2. b.
      [transitive] to own and use a motor vehicle
      expenses involved in running a car
  4. 4
    [intransitive] if a liquid runs somewhere, it flows there
    run down/from etc: Tears were running down his face.
    Blood ran from a wound in her leg.
    1. a.
      [intransitive] if a river runs somewhere, it flows there
      run into/to/from etc: The Rhine runs into the North Sea.
    2. b.
      [intransitive/transitive] if a tap runs, or if you run it, water comes out of it
    3. c.
      [intransitive] if something is running with a liquid, the liquid is flowing down it
      run with: His back was running with sweat.
    4. d.
      [transitive] to fill a bath or other container with water from a tap
      I ran a sink full of cold water.
      run (someone) a bath: Dad offered to run me a bath.
  5. 5
    [intransitive] if a play, film, or television programme runs, it continues to be performed or shown
    a soap opera that has been running for many years
    How long did the film run for?
  6. 6
    [intransitive] if a bus, train etc runs, it travels somewhere at regular times
    The train only runs at weekends.
    run on time (=arrive and leave at the right time): Do the buses run on time?
    be running 10 minutes/two hours etc late: The train was running twenty minutes late.
    1. a.
      [transitive] informal to take someone somewhere in your car
      run someone to/into: John kindly offered to run me into town.
      run someone there/home/back etc: I’ll run you there, it’s no trouble.
    2. b.
      [intransitive] if a vehicle runs somewhere, it moves there because the driver is not controlling it properly
      run into/down/through etc: The truck ran down the hill and into a shop window.
  7. 7
    [intransitive] [usually progressive] to reach a particular amount or rate
    Ticket prices were running anywhere from £50 to £200.
    run at: Inflation is running at 3%.
  8. 8
    [transitive] to move or rub something along something else
    run something through/across/down something: Fred ran his fingers gently through her hair.
    In a fit of jealousy, he ran a key down the side of Greg’s car.
  9. 9
    [intransitive] if something such as a road or wall runs somewhere, it exists in that place
    run along/around/through etc: There was a path running through the middle of the forest.
    run parallel to something: A mountain range runs parallel to the western border.
  10. 10
    [transitive] to put something such as a wire or thread somewhere
    run something under/behind/through etc something: You could run the cable behind the desk.
  11. 11
    [intransitive] if a feeling runs through you, you experience it
    A chill ran through me (=I suddenly felt frightened).
    1. a.
      to have a particular thought
      Our thoughts seem to run along the same lines (=we think the same).
      run to: His thoughts ran to the first time he had met Matilda.
      something runs through your mind/head (=you have a particular thought or idea): The thought that she might be lying ran through my mind.
  12. 13
    [intransitive] to try to be elected to an official job or position
    How many candidates are running?
    run for: Jackson announced his intention to run for president.
    run against: There will be three candidates running against her.
  13. 15
    [transitive] to bring someone or something illegally into a country
    We know of several groups who are running guns into the country.
  14. 16
    [intransitive] to grow in a particular direction
    run up/over: Ivy runs up the walls of the house.
  15. 17
    [intransitive] to move smoothly
    The curtains run on these tracks.
  16. 18
    [intransitive] if a story, argument etc runs in a particular way, this is what happens or what someone says
    The text ran something like this: ‘Don’t mess with our business!’


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

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