World English Dictionary
run (rʌn)
vb (usually foll by to) (often foll by to) , runs, running, ran, run
1.  (intr)
 a.  (of a two-legged creature) to move on foot at a rapid pace so that both feet are off the ground together for part of each stride
 b.  (of a four-legged creature) to move at a rapid gait; gallop or canter
2.  (tr) to pass over (a distance, route, etc) in running: to run a mile; run a race
3.  (intr) to run in or finish a race as specified, esp in a particular position: John is running third
4.  (tr) to perform or accomplish by or as if by running: to run an errand
5.  (intr) to flee; run away: they took to their heels and ran
6.  (tr) to bring into a specified state or condition by running: to run oneself to a standstill
7.  (tr) to track down or hunt (an animal): to run a fox to earth
8.  (intr) to move about freely and without restraint: the children are running in the garden
9.  to go or have recourse, as for aid, assistance, etc: he's always running to his mother when he's in trouble
10.  (tr) to set (animals) loose on (a field or tract of land) so as to graze freely
11.  (intr; often foll by over, round or up) to make a short trip or brief informal visit: I'll run over to your house this afternoon
12.  to move quickly and easily on wheels by rolling, or in any of certain other ways: a ball running along the ground; a sledge running over snow
13.  to move or cause to move with a specified result or in a specified manner: to run a ship aground; to run into a tree
14.  (often foll by over) to move or pass or cause to move or pass quickly: to run a vacuum cleaner over the carpet; to run one's eyes over a page
15.  (tr; foll by into, out of, through, etc) to force, thrust, or drive: she ran a needle into her finger
16.  (tr) to drive or maintain and operate (a vehicle)
17.  (tr) to give a lift to (someone) in a vehicle; transport: he ran her to the railway station
18.  to ply or cause to ply between places on a route: the bus runs from Piccadilly to Golders Green
19.  to operate or be operated; function or cause to function: the engine is running smoothly
20.  (tr) to perform or carry out: to run tests
21.  (tr) to be in charge of; manage: to run a company
22.  to extend or continue or cause to extend or continue in a particular direction, for a particular duration or distance, etc: the road runs north; the play ran for two years; the months ran into years
23.  (intr) law
 a.  to have legal force or effect: the lease runs for two more years
 b.  to accompany; be an integral part of or adjunct to: an easement runs with the land
24.  (tr) to be subjected to, be affected by, or incur: to run a risk; run a temperature
25.  to be characterized (by); tend or incline: her taste runs to extravagant hats; to run to fat
26.  (intr) to recur persistently or be inherent: red hair runs in my family
27.  to cause or allow (liquids) to flow or (of liquids) to flow, esp in a manner specified: water ran from the broken pipe; the well has run dry
28.  (intr) to melt and flow: the wax grew hot and began to run
29.  metallurgy
 a.  to melt or fuse
 b.  (tr) to mould or cast (molten metal): to run lead into ingots
30.  (intr) (of waves, tides, rivers, etc) to rise high, surge, or be at a specified height: a high sea was running that night
31.  (intr) to be diffused: the colours in my dress ran when I washed it
32.  (intr) (of stitches) to unravel or come undone or (of a garment) to have stitches unravel or come undone: if you pull that thread the whole seam will run
33.  to sew (an article) with continuous stitches
34.  (intr) (of growing vines, creepers, etc) to trail, spread, or climb: ivy running over a cottage wall
35.  (intr) to spread or circulate quickly: a rumour ran through the town
36.  (intr) to be stated or reported: his story runs as follows
37.  to publish or print or be published or printed in a newspaper, magazine, etc: they ran his story in the next issue
38.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) (often foll by for) to be a candidate or present as a candidate for political or other office: Anderson is running for president
39.  (tr) to get past or through; evade: to run a blockade
40.  (tr) to deal in (arms, etc), esp by importing illegally: he runs guns for the rebels
41.  nautical to sail (a vessel, esp a sailing vessel) or (of such a vessel) to be sailed with the wind coming from astern
42.  (intr) of fish
 a.  to migrate upstream from the sea, esp in order to spawn
 b.  to swim rapidly in any area of water, esp during migration
43.  (tr) cricket to score (a run or number of runs) by hitting the ball and running between the wickets
44.  (tr) billiards, snooker to make (a number of successful shots) in sequence
45.  (tr) golf to hit (the ball) so that it rolls along the ground
46.  (tr) bridge to cash (all one's winning cards in a long suit) successively
47.  run a bath to turn on the taps to fill a bath with water for bathing oneself
48.  run close to compete closely with; present a serious challenge to: he got the job, but a younger man ran him close
49.  informal run for it to attempt to escape from arrest, etc, by running
50.  be run off one's feet to be extremely busy
51.  an act, instance, or period of running
52.  a gait, pace, or motion faster than a walk: she went off at a run
53.  a distance covered by running or a period of running: a run of ten miles
54.  an act, instance, or period of travelling in a vehicle, esp for pleasure: to go for a run in the car
55.  free and unrestricted access: we had the run of the house and garden for the whole summer
56.  a.  a period of time during which a machine, computer, etc, operates
 b.  the amount of work performed in such a period
57.  a continuous or sustained period: a run of good luck
58.  a continuous sequence of performances: the play had a good run
59.  cards a sequence of winning cards in one suit, usually more than five: a run of spades
60.  tendency or trend: the run of the market
61.  type, class, or category: the usual run of graduates
62.  (usually foll by on) a continuous and urgent demand: a run on butter; a run on the dollar
63.  a series of unravelled stitches, esp in stockings or tights; ladder
64.  the characteristic pattern or direction of something: the run of the grain on a piece of wood
65.  a.  a continuous vein or seam of ore, coal, etc
 b.  the direction in which it lies
66.  a.  a period during which water or other liquid flows
 b.  the amount of such a flow
67.  a pipe, channel, etc, through which water or other liquid flows
68.  (US) a small stream
69.  green run blue run red run See also black run a steeply inclined pathway or course, esp a snow-covered one used for skiing and bobsleigh racing
70.  an enclosure for domestic fowls or other animals, in which they have free movement: a chicken run
71.  (esp in Australia and New Zealand) a tract of land for grazing livestock
72.  a track or area frequented by animals: a deer run; a rabbit run
73.  a group of animals of the same species moving together
74.  the migration of fish upstream in order to spawn
75.  nautical
 a.  the tack of a sailing vessel in which the wind comes from astern
 b.  part of the hull of a vessel near the stern where it curves upwards and inwards
76.  military
 a.  a mission in a warplane
 b.  short for bombing run
77.  the movement of an aircraft along the ground during takeoff or landing
78.  music a rapid scalelike passage of notes
79.  cricket extra Compare boundary a score of one, normally achieved by both batsmen running from one end of the wicket to the other after one of them has hit the ball
80.  baseball an instance of a batter touching all four bases safely, thereby scoring
81.  golf the distance that a ball rolls after hitting the ground
82.  informal a run for one's money
 a.  a strong challenge or close competition
 b.  pleasure derived from an activity
83.  in the long run as the eventual outcome of a sequence of events, actions, etc; ultimately
84.  in the short run as the immediate outcome of a series of events, etc
85.  on the run
 a.  escaping from arrest; fugitive
 b.  in rapid flight; retreating: the enemy is on the run
 c.  hurrying from place to place: she's always on the run
86.  slang the runs diarrhoea
[Old English runnen, past participle of (ge)rinnan; related to Old Frisian, Old Norse rinna, Old Saxon, Gothic, Old High German rinnan]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

the modern verb is a merger of two related O.E. words. The first is rinnan, irnan (strong, intransitive, pt. ran, pp. runnen), from P.Gmc. *renwanan (cf. M.Du. runnen, O.S., O.H.G., Goth. rinnan, Ger. rinnen "to flow, run"), both from PIE *ri-ne-a-, nasalized form of base *reie- "to flow, run" (see
Rhine). The sense of "cause to run" is from O.E. ærnan, earnan (weak, transitive, probably a metathesis of *rennan), from P.Gmc. *rannjanan, causative of the root *ren- "run." Of streams, etc., from c.1200; of machinery, from 1560s. Meaning "to be in charge of" is first attested 1861, originally Amer.Eng. Meaning "to seek office in an election" is from 1826, Amer.Eng. Phrase run for it "take flight" is attested from 1640s. Most figurative uses are from horseracing or hunting (cf to run (something) into the ground, 1836, Amer.Eng.), except (to feel) run down (1901) which is from clocks (in the lit. sense, 1761). To run across "meet" is attested from 1880. To run short "exhaust one's supply" is from 1752; to run out of in the same sense is from 1713.

"spell of running," mid-15c. (earlier ren, late 14c.), from run (v.). Sense of "small stream" first recorded 1580s, mostly Northern English dialect and Amer.Eng. Meaning "series or rush of demands on a bank, etc." is first recorded 1690s. Baseball sense is from 1856. Meaning
"single trip by a railroad train" is from 1857. Military aircraft sense is from 1916. Meaning "total number of copies printed" is from 1909. Meaning "tear in a knitted garment" is from 1922. Phrase a run for one's money is from 1874. Run-in "quarrel, confrontation" is from 1905.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

run definition

  1. n.
    a session or period of time spent doing something; a period of time when something happens. : The market had a good run today.
  2. tv.
    to transport contraband, alcohol, or drugs. : Harry the Horse used to run booze during prohibition.
  3. n.
    an act of transporting contraband. : Four soldiers were killed during a run.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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