a way along which something runs.
a paved or cleared strip on which planes land and take off.
a similar strip on which cars, trucks, or the like may park, load, or enter the stream of traffic.
the beaten track or habitual path of deer or other wild animals.
a fairly large enclosure in which domestic animals may range about: a runway for dogs.
the bed of a stream.
Bowling. approach ( def 16b ).
a narrow platform or ramp extending from a stage into the orchestra pit or into an aisle, as in a theater.

1825–35, Americanism; run + way1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
runway (ˈrʌnˌweɪ)
1.  a hard level roadway or other surface from which aircraft take off and on which they land
2.  an enclosure for domestic animals; run
3.  (US), (Canadian) forestry a chute for sliding logs down
4.  a narrow ramp extending from the stage into the audience in a theatre, nightclub, etc, esp as used by models in a fashion show

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

1833, "customary track of an animal," especially a deer, Amer.Eng., from run (v.) + way. Meaning "artificial sloping track" is attested from 1883; airfield sense is from 1923.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
She tore down the runway toward him with open arms, her spirits-and feet-flying.
To me, the moment when the customer actually throws the frock on in the fitting
  room is much more exciting than the runway moment.
Imagine driving a continuous supply of cars down a long runway off a cliff for
  a million years.
But biofuels have a runway to viability of only a few years.
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