American English

Definition of run verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they run
    he / she / it runs
    past simple ran
    past participle run
    -ing form running
    jump to other results
    move fast on foot
  1. 1[intransitive] to move using your legs, going faster than when you walk Can you run as fast as Mike? They turned and ran when they saw us coming. She came running to meet us. I had to run to catch the bus. The dogs ran off as soon as we appeared. He ran home in tears to his mother. In spoken English run can be used with and plus another verb, instead of with to and the infinitive, especially to tell someone to hurry and do something:Run and get your swimsuits, kids.I ran and knocked on the nearest door.
  2. 2[transitive] run something to travel a particular distance by running Who was the first person to run a mile in under four minutes?
  3. 3go running [intransitive] to run as a sport She used to run when she was at college. I often go running before work.
  4. race
  5. 4[intransitive, transitive] to take part in a race run (in something) He will be running in the 100 meters tonight. There are only five horses running in the first race. run something to run the marathon Holmes ran an impressive race to take the gold medal. see also runner
  6. 5[transitive, often passive] run something to make a race take place The Derby will be run in spite of the bad weather.
  7. hurry
  8. 6[intransitive] + adv./prep. to hurry from one place to another I've spent the whole day running around after the kids.
  9. manage
  10. 7[transitive] run something to be in charge of a business, etc. to run a hotel/store/language school He has no idea how to run a business. Stop trying to run my life (= organize it) for me. The shareholders want more say in how the company is run. a badly run company state-run industries see also running
  11. provide
  12. 8[transitive] run something to make a service, course of study, etc. available to people synonym organize The college runs summer courses for foreign students.
  13. vehicle/machine
  14. 9[transitive] run something to own and use a vehicle or machine I can't afford to run a car on my salary.
  15. 10[intransitive, transitive] to operate or function; to make something do this Stan had the chainsaw running. (figurative) Her life had always run smoothly before. run on something Our van runs on (= uses) diesel. run something Could you run the engine for a moment?
  16. buses/trains
  17. 11[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to travel on a particular route Buses to the shopping mall run every half-hour. Trains between the two cities run throughout the day. All the trains are running late (= are leaving later than planned).
  18. 12[transitive] run something (+ adv./prep.) to make buses, trains, etc. travel on a particular route They run extra trains during the rush hour.
  19. drive someone
  20. 13[transitive] run somebody + adv./prep. (informal) to drive someone to a place in a car Can I run you home?
  21. move somewhere
  22. 14[intransitive] + adv./prep. to move, especially quickly, in a particular direction The car ran off the road into a ditch. A shiver ran down my spine. The sled ran smoothly over the frozen snow. The old tramlines are still there but now no trams run on them.
  23. 15[transitive] run something + adv./prep. to move something in a particular direction She ran her fingers nervously through her hair. Iran my eyes over the page.
  24. lead/stretch
  25. 16[intransitive, transitive] to lead or stretch from one place to another; to make something do this + adv./prep. He had a scar running down his left cheek. The road runs parallel to the river. run something + adv./prep. We ran a cable from the lights to the stage.
  26. continue for time
  27. 17[intransitive] run (for something) to continue for a particular period of time without stopping Her last musical ran for six months on Broadway.
  28. 18[intransitive] run (for something) to operate or be valid for a particular period of time The permit runs for three months. The lease on my house only has a year left to run.
  29. happen
  30. 19[intransitive] (usually used in the progressive tenses) to happen at the time mentioned + adv./prep. Programs are running a few minutes behind schedule this evening. The murderer was given three life sentences, to run concurrently.
  31. guns, drugs, etc.
  32. 20[transitive] run something (+ adv./prep.) to bring or take something into a country illegally and secretly synonym smuggle He used to run guns across the border. see also runner
  33. of story/argument
  34. 21[intransitive, transitive] to have particular words, contents, etc. Their argument ran something like this… + speech “Ten shot dead by gunmen,” ran the newspaper headline.
  35. liquid
  36. 22[intransitive] + adv./prep. to flow The tears ran down her cheeks. Water was running all over the bathroom floor.
  37. 23[transitive] to make liquid flow run something (into something) She ran hot water into the bucket. to run the hot faucet (= to turn it so that water flows from it) run something for somebody I'll run a bath for you. run somebody something I'll run you a bath.
  38. 24[intransitive] to send out a liquid Who left the faucet running? Your nose is running (= mucus is flowing from it). The smoke makes my eyes run.
  39. 25[intransitive] (usually used in the progressive tenses) run with something to be covered with a liquid His face was running with sweat. The bathroom floor was running with water.
  40. of color
  41. 26[intransitive] if the color runs in a piece of clothing when it gets wet, it dissolves and may come out of the clothing into other things The color ran and made all my underwear pink.
  42. melt
  43. 27[intransitive] (of a solid substance) to melt The wax began to run. see also runny
  44. be/become
  45. 28[intransitive] + adj. to become different in a particular way, especially a bad way The river ran dry (= stopped flowing) during the drought. Supplies are running low. We're running short of milk. You've got your rivals running scared.
  46. 29[intransitive] run at something to be at or near a particular level Inflation was running at 26%.
  47. of newspaper/magazine
  48. 30[transitive] run something to print and publish an item or a story On advice from their lawyers they decided not to run the story.
  49. a test/check
  50. 31[transitive] run a test/check (on something) to do a test/check on something The doctors decided to run some more tests on the blood samples.
  51. in election
  52. 32[intransitive] to be a candidate in an election for a political position, especially in the U.S. Bush ran a second time in 2004. run for somebody/something to run for president run in something to run in the election
  53. of pantyhose/stockings
  54. 33[intransitive] if pantyhose or stockings run, a long, thin hole appears in them
  55. Idioms
    come running
    jump to other results
    to be pleased to do what someone wants She knew she had only to call and he would come running.
    (often used in orders) to run in order to escape from someone or something
    up and running
    jump to other results
    working fully and correctly It will be a lot easier when we have the database up and running.
    Phrasal Verbsrun across somebody/somethingrun after somebody/somethingrun after somebodyrun alongrun around with somebodyrun at somebodyrun away (from somebody/…)run away from somethingrun away/off with somebodyrun away with somethingrun away with yourun back over somethingrun something by/past somebodyrun downrun somethingdownrun somebody/somethingdownrun somebodyinrun into somebodyrun into somethingrun into somebody/somethingrun something into somebody/somethingrun somethingoffrun off with somebodyrun off with somethingrun onrun outrun out (of something)run out on somebodyrun overrun somebody/somethingoverrun over somethingrun something past somebodyrun somebodythroughrun through somethingrun to somethingrun somethinguprun up against somethingrun with somebodyrun with something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: run