run

When you run, you move along quickly, and for a long time if you're running a marathon. You can also run a campaign or a business — you make them function.

There are plenty of meanings for run. If you're plotting your escape from the Tower of London, you can "make a run for it," and if you're a baseball player, you're a hero if you make a home run. When your play opens on Broadway, you hope it will have many performances — "a long run" — and if you're lucky, the New York Times will run a rave review.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: run

1
vn
move fast by using one's feet, with one foot off the ground at any given time
the act of running; traveling on foot at a fast pace
2
vn
stretch out over a distance, space, time, or scope; run or extend between two points or beyond a certain point
an unbroken chronological sequence
3
vn
carry out
the production achieved during a continuous period of operation (of a machine or factory etc.)
4
vn
move along, of liquids
a small stream
5
vn
run, stand, or compete for an office or a position
a race between candidates for elective office
6
vn
run with the ball; in such sports as football
(American football) a play in which a player attempts to carry the ball through or past the opposing team
7
vn
become undone
a row of unravelled stitches
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: run
1

v move fast by using one's feet, with one foot off the ground at any given time

“Don't run--you'll be out of breath”
“The children ran to the store”
Types:
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clip, jog, trot
run at a moderately swift pace
scamper, scurry, scuttle, skitter
to move about or proceed hurriedly
romp
run easily and fairly fast
run bases
run around the bases, in baseball
streak
run naked in a public place
outrun
run faster than
jog
run for exercise
sprint
run very fast, usually for a short distance
lope
run easily
rush
run with the ball, in football
hare
run quickly, like a hare
crab
scurry sideways like a crab
Type of:
hurry, speed, travel rapidly, zip
move very fast

v travel rapidly, by any (unspecified) means

Run to the store!”
“She always runs to Italy, because she has a lover there”
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically

v cover by running; run a certain distance

“She ran 10 miles that day”
Type of:
go across, go through, pass
go across or through

v compete in a race

“he is running the Marathon this year”
Synonyms:
race
Types:
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show
finish third or better in a horse or dog race
place
finish second or better in a horse or dog race
boat-race
participate in a boat race
horse-race
compete in a horse race
campaign
run, stand, or compete for an office or a position
speed skate
race on skates
jockey
ride a racehorse as a professional jockey
stump
travel through a district and make political speeches
rerun
run again for office
whistlestop
tour the country in order to solicit votes for an election
cross-file, register
have one's name listed as a candidate for several parties
Type of:
compete, contend, vie
compete for something; engage in a contest; measure oneself against others

v move about freely and without restraint, or act as if running around in an uncontrolled way

“who are these people running around in the building?”
“She runs around telling everyone of her troubles”
“let the dogs run free”
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically

v flee; take to one's heels; cut and run

“If you see this man, run!”
Synonyms:
break away, bunk, escape, fly the coop, head for the hills, hightail it, lam, run away, scarper, scat, take to the woods, turn tail
Types:
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flee, fly, take flight
run away quickly
skedaddle
run away, as if in a panic
break
make a rupture in the ranks of the enemy or one's own by quitting or fleeing
stampede
run away in a stampede
abscond, absquatulate, bolt, decamp, go off, make off, run off
run away; usually includes taking something or somebody along
elope, run off
run away secretly with one's beloved
break loose, escape, get away
run away from confinement
high-tail
retreat at full speed
defect, desert
desert (a cause, a country or an army), often in order to join the opposing cause, country, or army
Type of:
go away, go forth, leave
go away from a place

v travel a route regularly

Synonyms:
ply
black market
deal in illegally, such as arms or liquor
Type of:
jaunt, travel, trip
make a trip for pleasure

v sail before the wind

Type of:
sail
travel on water propelled by wind

v cause an animal to move fast

run the dogs”
Synonyms
hunt, hunt down, track down
pursue for food or sport (as of wild animals)
Type of:
displace, move
cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense

v progress by being changed

run through your presentation before the meeting”
Synonyms:
go, move
Type of:
change
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v pass over, across, or through

“He ran his eyes over her body”
“She ran her fingers along the carved figurine”
Synonyms:
draw, guide, pass
draw, string, thread
thread on or as if on a string
lead
cause something to pass or lead somewhere
Types:
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rub
move over something with pressure
thread
pass through or into
thread
pass a thread through
brush
rub with a brush, or as if with a brush
pumice
rub with pumice, in order to clean or to smoothen
gauge
rub to a uniform size
puree, strain
rub through a strainer or process in an electric blender
rosin
rub rosin onto
sponge down, sponge off
clean with a sponge, by rubbing
worry
touch or rub constantly
scour, scrub
clean with hard rubbing
abrade, scour
rub hard or scrub
blur, smear, smudge, smutch
make a smudge on; soil by smudging
grate, scrape
scratch repeatedly
pass over, wipe
rub with a circular motion
grate
reduce to small shreds or pulverize by rubbing against a rough or sharp perforated surface

v cause something to pass or lead somewhere

Run the wire behind the cabinet”
Synonyms:
lead
draw, guide, pass
pass over, across, or through
range
change or be different within limits
Type of:
make pass, pass
cause to pass

v set animals loose to graze

Type of:
free, liberate, loose, release, unloose, unloosen
grant freedom to; free from confinement

v keep company

“the heifers run with the bulls to produce offspring”
Synonyms:
consort
Type of:
accompany
go or travel along with

v pursue for food or sport (as of wild animals)

“The dogs are running deer”
Synonyms:
hunt, hunt down, track down
hunt
search (an area) for prey
Types:
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snipe
hunt or shoot snipe
whale
hunt for whales
ambush, still-hunt
hunt (quarry) by stalking and ambushing
turtle
hunt for turtles, especially as an occupation
drive
hunting: chase from cover into more open ground
drive
hunting: search for game
rabbit
hunt rabbits
fowl
hunt fowl in the forest
poach
hunt illegally
seal
hunt seals
ferret
hunt with ferrets
course
hunt with hounds
foxhunt
hunt foxes, on horseback and with dogs
jack, jacklight
hunt with a jacklight
hawk
hunt with hawks
falcon
hunt with falcons
fowl
hunt fowl
forage, scrounge
collect or look around for (food)
grouse
hunt grouse
rustle
forage food
Type of:
capture, catch
capture as if by hunting, snaring, or trapping

n the act of running; traveling on foot at a fast pace

“he broke into a run
“his daily run keeps him fit”
Synonyms:
running
Types:
dash, sprint
a quick run
break
a sudden dash
Type of:
locomotion, travel
self-propelled movement

n a race run on foot

“she broke the record for the half-mile run
Synonyms:
foot race, footrace
Types:
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fun run, funrun
a footrace run for fun (often including runners who are sponsored for a charity)
marathon
a footrace of 26 miles 385 yards
obstacle race
a race in which competitors must negotiate obstacles
steeplechase
a footrace of usually 3000 meters over a closed track with hurdles and a water jump
track event
a footrace performed on a track (indoor or outdoor)
dash
a footrace run at top speed
hurdle race, hurdles, hurdling
a footrace in which contestants must negotiate a series of hurdles
mile
a footrace extending one mile
Type of:
race
a contest of speed

n a regular trip

“the ship made its run in record time”
Type of:
trip
a journey for some purpose (usually including the return)

n a short trip

“take a run into town”
Type of:
trip
a journey for some purpose (usually including the return)
2

v stretch out over a distance, space, time, or scope; run or extend between two points or beyond a certain point

“Service runs all the way to Cranbury”
Synonyms:
extend, go, lead, pass
range
change or be different within limits
Types:
come
extend or reach
radiate, ray
extend or spread outward from a center or focus or inward towards a center
go deep, go far
extend in importance or range
Type of:
be
occupy a certain position or area; be somewhere

v have a particular form

“the story or argument runs as follows”
Synonyms:
go
Type of:
be
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

v have a tendency or disposition to do or be something; be inclined

“These dresses run small”
Synonyms:
be given, incline, lean, tend
Types:
take kindly to
be willing or inclined to accept
suffer
be given to
gravitate
move toward
Type of:
be
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

v change from one state to another

run amok”
run rogue”
run riot”
Type of:
become, get, go
enter or assume a certain state or condition

v change or be different within limits

“Interest rates run from 5 to 10 percent”
Synonyms:
range
extend, go, lead, pass
stretch out over a distance, space, time, or scope; run or extend between two points or beyond a certain point
lead
cause something to pass or lead somewhere
Type of:
be
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

v continue to exist

Synonyms:
die hard, endure, persist, prevail
Types:
carry over
transfer or persist from one stage or sphere of activity to another
reverberate
have a long or continuing effect
Type of:
continue
exist over a prolonged period of time

v occur persistently

“Musical talent runs in the family”
Synonyms
die hard, endure, persist, prevail
continue to exist
Type of:
occur
to be found to exist

v extend or continue for a certain period of time

“The film runs 5 hours”
Synonyms:
run for
Type of:
endure, last
persist for a specified period of time

v make without a miss

Type of:
bring home the bacon, come through, deliver the goods, succeed, win
attain success or reach a desired goal

n an unbroken chronological sequence

“the play had a long run on Broadway”
“the team enjoyed a brief run of victories”
Type of:
chronological sequence, chronological succession, sequence, succession, successiveness
a following of one thing after another in time

n an unbroken series of events

“Nicklaus had a run of birdies”
Synonyms:
streak
Types:
losing streak
a streak of losses
winning streak
a streak of wins
Type of:
succession
a group of people or things arranged or following in order

n unrestricted freedom to use

“he has the run of the house”
Type of:
liberty
freedom of choice
3

v carry out

run an errand”
Type of:
accomplish, action, carry out, carry through, execute, fulfil, fulfill
put in effect

v carry out a process or program, as on a computer or a machine

Run the dishwasher”
run a new program on the Mac”
Synonyms:
execute
play
cause to emit recorded audio or video
Types:
step
cause (a computer) to execute a single command
Type of:
apply, enforce, implement
ensure observance of laws and rules

v cause to perform

run a subject”
run a process”
Synonyms
play
cause to emit recorded audio or video
Types:
rerun
cause to perform again
Type of:
process, treat
subject to a process or treatment, with the aim of readying for some purpose, improving, or remedying a condition

v direct or control; projects, businesses, etc.

“She is running a relief operation in the Sudan”
Synonyms:
operate
Types:
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financier
conduct financial operations, often in an unethical manner
work
operate in or through
block
run on a block system
warm up
run until the normal working temperature is reached
Type of:
direct
be in charge of

v perform as expected when applied

“Does this old car still run well?”
Synonyms:
function, go, operate, work
work
operate in or through
Antonyms:
malfunction, misfunction
fail to function or function improperly
Types:
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double
do double duty; serve two purposes or have two functions
roll
begin operating or running
cut
function as a cutting instrument
serve, service
be used by; as of a utility

v be operating, running or functioning

“The car is still running--turn it off!”
Synonyms
function, go, operate, work
perform as expected when applied
Antonyms:
idle, tick over
run disconnected or idle
Type of:
function, go, operate, work
perform as expected when applied

v be affected by; be subjected to

run a temperature”
run a risk”
Type of:
incur
make oneself subject to; bring upon oneself; become liable to

v include as the content; broadcast or publicize

“We ran the ad three times”
Synonyms:
carry
Type of:
broadcast, circularise, circularize, circulate, diffuse, disperse, disseminate, distribute, pass around, propagate, spread
cause to become widely known

v cause to emit recorded audio or video

“They ran the tapes over and over again”
Synonyms:
play
play
emit recorded sound
execute
carry out a process or program, as on a computer or a machine

v deal in illegally, such as arms or liquor

Synonyms:
black market
ply
travel a route regularly
Type of:
merchandise, trade
engage in the trade of

n the production achieved during a continuous period of operation (of a machine or factory etc.)

“a daily run of 100,000 gallons of paint”
Type of:
indefinite quantity
an estimated quantity

n the continuous period of time during which something (a machine or a factory) operates or continues in operation

“the assembly line was on a 12-hour run
Types:
press run, print run
the period that presses run to produce an issue of a newspaper
run-time
(computer science) the length of time it takes to execute a software program
split run
a print run of a newspaper during which some articles or advertisements are changed to produce a different edition
Type of:
period, period of time, time period
an amount of time

n the act of testing something

Synonyms:
test, trial
Types:
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assay
a quantitative or qualitative test of a substance (especially an ore or a drug) to determine its components; frequently used to test for the presence or concentration of infectious agents or antibodies etc.
clinical test, clinical trial
a rigorously controlled test of a new drug or a new invasive medical device on human subjects; in the United States it is conducted under the direction of the FDA before being made available for general clinical use
double blind
a test procedure in which the identity of those receiving the intervention is concealed from both the administrators and the subjects until after the test is completed; designed to reduce or eliminate bias in the results
preclinical phase, preclinical test, preclinical trial
a laboratory test of a new drug or a new invasive medical device on animal subjects; conducted to gather evidence justifying a clinical trial
audition, tryout
a test of the suitability of a performer
field trial
a test of young hunting dogs to determine their skill in pointing and retrieving
fitting, try-on, trying on
putting clothes on to see whether they fit
MOT, MOT test, Ministry of Transportation test
a compulsory annual test of older motor vehicles for safety and exhaust fumes
pilot program, pilot project
activity planned as a test or trial
Snellen test
a test of visual acuity using a Snellen chart
ELISA, enzyme-linked-immunosorbent serologic assay
an assay that relies on an enzymatic conversion reaction and is used to detect the presence of specific substances (such as enzymes or viruses or antibodies or bacteria)
immunohistochemistry
an assay that shows specific antigens in tissues by the use of markers that are either fluorescent dyes or enzymes (such as horseradish peroxidase)
phase I, phase I clinical trial
a clinical trial on a few persons to determine the safety of a new drug or invasive medical device; for drugs, dosage or toxicity limits should be obtained
phase II, phase II clinical trial
a clinical trial on more persons than in phase I; intended to evaluate the efficacy of a treatment for the condition it is intended to treat; possible side effects are monitored
phase III, phase III clinical trial
a large clinical trial of a treatment or drug that in phase I and phase II has been shown to be efficacious with tolerable side effects; after successful conclusion of these clinical trials it will receive formal approval from the FDA
phase IV, phase IV clinical trial
sometimes the FDA approves a drug for general use but requires the manufacturer to continue to monitor its effects; during this phase the drug may be tried on slightly different patient populations than those studied in earlier trials
screen test
a filmed audition of an actor or actress
diagnostic assay, diagnostic test
an assay conducted for diagnostic purposes
bio-assay, bioassay
appraisal of the biological activity of a substance by testing its effect on an organism and comparing the result with some agreed standard
Type of:
attempt, effort, endeavor, endeavour, try
earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something
4

v move along, of liquids

Synonyms:
course, feed, flow
Types:
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flush
flow freely
gush, jet
issue in a jet; come out in a jet; stream or spring forth
surge, tide
rise or move forward
circulate
move through a space, circuit or system, returning to the starting point
eddy, purl, swirl, whirl, whirlpool
flow in a circular current, of liquids
run off, waste
run off as waste
run down
move downward
pour
flow in a spurt
run out, spill
flow, run or fall out and become lost
stream, well out
flow freely and abundantly
dribble, filter, trickle
run or flow slowly, as in drops or in an unsteady stream
drain, run out
flow off gradually
ooze, seep
pass gradually or leak through or as if through small openings
gutter
flow in small streams
flush down, wash down
flow freely
ventilate
circulate through and freshen
spin
stream in jets, of liquids
gush, spirt, spout, spurt
gush forth in a sudden stream or jet
regurgitate
pour or rush back
leach, percolate
permeate or penetrate gradually
brim over, overflow, overrun, run over, well over
flow or run over (a limit or brim)
Type of:
move
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

v be diffused

“These dyes and colors are guaranteed not to run
Synonyms:
bleed
melt, melt down
reduce or cause to be reduced from a solid to a liquid state, usually by heating
Types:
crock
release color when rubbed, of badly dyed fabric
Type of:
diffuse, fan out, spread, spread out
move outward

v reduce or cause to be reduced from a solid to a liquid state, usually by heating

Synonyms:
melt, melt down
bleed
be diffused
Types:
fuse
make liquid or plastic by heating
render, try
melt (fat or lard) in order to separate out impurities
Type of:
break up, dissolve, resolve
cause to go into a solution

n a small stream

Synonyms:
rill, rivulet, runnel, streamlet
Type of:
stream, watercourse
a natural body of running water flowing on or under the earth

n the pouring forth of a fluid

Synonyms:
discharge, outpouring
Types:
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jet, spirt, spurt, squirt
the occurrence of a sudden discharge (as of liquid)
escape, leak, leakage, outflow
the discharge of a fluid from some container
spray
a jet of vapor
spritz
a quick squirt of some liquid (usually carbonated water)
Type of:
flow, flowing
the motion characteristic of fluids (liquids or gases)
5

v run, stand, or compete for an office or a position

“Who's running for treasurer this year?”
Synonyms:
campaign
Types:
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stump
travel through a district and make political speeches
rerun
run again for office
whistlestop
tour the country in order to solicit votes for an election
cross-file, register
have one's name listed as a candidate for several parties
slate
enter on a list or slate for an election
Type of:
race
compete in a race

n a race between candidates for elective office

“he is raising money for a Senate run
Synonyms:
campaign, political campaign
Types:
campaign for governor, governor's race
a race for election to the governorship
senate campaign, senate race
a race for election to the senate
Type of:
race
any competition
6

v run with the ball; in such sports as football

n (American football) a play in which a player attempts to carry the ball through or past the opposing team

“the defensive line braced to stop the run
“the coach put great emphasis on running
Synonyms:
running, running game, running play
Types:
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draw, draw play
(American football) the quarterback moves back as if to pass and then hands the ball to the fullback who is running toward the line of scrimmage
end run, sweep
(American football) an attempt to advance the ball by running around the end of the line
return
(American football) the act of running back the ball after a kickoff or punt or interception or fumble
reverse
(American football) a running play in which a back running in one direction hands the ball to a back running in the opposite direction
rush, rushing
(American football) an attempt to advance the ball by running into the line
double reverse
(American football) a running play in which a first reverse is followed by a second reverse
Type of:
football play
(American football) a play by the offensive team

n a score in baseball made by a runner touching all four bases safely

“the Yankees scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th”
Synonyms:
tally
Types:
earned run
a run that was not scored as the result of an error by the other team
unearned run
a run that was scored as a result of an error by the other team
rbi, run batted in
a run that is the result of the batter's performance
Type of:
score
the act of scoring in a game or sport
7

v become undone

Synonyms:
unravel
ladder
come unraveled or undone as if by snagging
Type of:
disintegrate
break into parts or components or lose cohesion or unity

v come unraveled or undone as if by snagging

“Her nylons were running
Synonyms:
ladder
unravel
become undone
Type of:
break, come apart, fall apart, separate, split up
become separated into pieces or fragments

n a row of unravelled stitches

“she got a run in her stocking”
Synonyms:
ladder, ravel
Type of:
damage, harm, impairment
the occurrence of a change for the worse
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