run off

Idioms & Phrases

run off

  1. Escape; see run away, def. 2.

  2. Flow off, drain, as in By noon all the water had run off the driveway. [Early 1700s]

  3. Print, duplicate, or copy, as in We ran off 200 copies of the budget. [Late 1800s]

  4. Decide a contest or competition, as in The last two events will be run off on Tuesday. [Late 1800s]

  5. Also, run someone out. Force or drive someone away, as in The security guard ran off the trespassers, or They ran him out of town. [Early 1700s]

  6. Produce or perform quickly and easily, as in After years of practice, he could run off a sermon in a couple of hours. [Late 1600s]

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