in the long run

Idioms & Phrases

in the long run

Over a lengthy period of time, in the end. For example, He realized that in the long run, their argument wouldn't seem so awful. This expression, which originated as at the long run in the early 1600s, presumably alludes to a runner who continues on his course to the end. Economist John Maynard Keynes used it in a much-quoted quip about economic planning: "In the long run we are all dead." The antonym, in the short run, meaning "over a short period of time," dates only from the 1800s. The novelist George Eliot used both in a letter (October 18, 1879): "Mrs. Healy's marriage is surely what you expected in the long or short run."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: in the limelight
Next Definition: in the loop
Words Near: in the long run
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for in the long run
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing in the long run
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature