indecisive or evasive treatment, especially in response to a request: Ask for a raise and he'll give you the runaround.
Printing. an arrangement of type in which several lines are set in narrower measure than the others in a column to accommodate an illustration, initial, or the like.

1870–75, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase run around

1. dodge, evasion, slip. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

"deceptive, evasive treatment," 1915, from run (v.) + around. The verbal phrase run around "to associate" (with) is from 1887.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

runaround definition

  1. n.
    a wild-goose chase. (Especially with give, as in the examples.) : The IRS gave us the runaround when we asked for a review.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see get the runaround.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
After getting the runaround over the phone, he was directed to go to the airport ticket counter.
Frequent complaints result in bureaucratic runaround with absolutely no changes.
Runaround loops are ideal for situations in which the intake and the exhaust are separated.
No more getting the runaround when you call about your loan.
Idioms & Phrases
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