run away

Idioms & Phrases

run away

  1. Flee, escape, as in Our dog is no watchdog; he runs away from strangers, or Our six-year-old said he'd run away from home. [Late 1300s]

  2. Also, run off. Leave secretly, especially to elope, as in She ran away from home when she was only thirteen, or They ran off to Maryland and got married by a justice of the peace. [Early 1600s]

  3. it won't run away. An object, activity, or issue will not disappear, as in You can leave, but when you come back the mess in the kitchen will still be thereit won't run away, you know! This jocular assurance of permanence dates from the late 1800s. Also see run away with.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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