run Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “run” in the English Dictionary

"run" in British English

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runverb

uk   us   /rʌn/ (present participle running, past tense ran, past participle run)
  • run verb (GO QUICKLY)

A1 [I or T] (of ​people and some ​animals) to ​move along, ​faster than ​walking, by taking ​quicksteps in which each ​foot is ​lifted before the next ​foottouches the ​ground: [+ to infinitive] The ​children had to run tokeep up with ​theirfather. I can run a ​mile in five ​minutes. The ​sheep ran away/off in ​fright. A little ​girl ran up to (= came ​quickly beside) me, ​crying for her ​daddy. In the semi-final she will be running against her ​nearestrival. The first two ​races will be run (= will ​happen) in 20 ​minutes. [T] If you run an ​animal in a ​race, you ​cause it to take ​part: Thompson Stables are running three ​horses in the next ​race. [I + adv/prep] to go ​quickly or in a ​hurry: Would you run to the ​postoffice and get me some ​stamps? You don't put on ​weight when you ​spend all ​day running around after ​smallchildren.run for sth to run ​fast in ​order to get or ​avoid something: I ran for the ​bus but it ​drove off.run on the spot UK (US run in place) to ​moveyourlegs as if running, while you ​stay in one ​place: I run on the ​spot to ​warm up before I ​starttraining.

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  • run verb (TRAVEL)

B2 [I or T, usually + adv/prep] to (​cause something to) ​travel, ​move, or ​continue in a ​particular way: Trains are still running, ​despite the ​snow. A ​bus runs (= goes on a ​particularroute at ​particulartimes) three ​times a ​day into ​town. Skis are ​waxed on the ​bottom so that they run ​smoothly over the ​snow. The ​route/​railway/​road runs (= goes) across the ​border/into Italy/through the ​mountains. A ​climbingrosebush runs (= ​grows) up the ​side of the ​door. There's a ​beautifulcornice running around/round all the ​ceilings. The ​film runs (= ​lasts) for two ​hours. The show/​course/​film runs (= ​continues) for another ​week. A ​magazinesubscription usually only runs (= can be used) for one ​year. Buses are running an ​hour late, because of an ​earlieraccident. The truck's ​brakesfailed and it ran (= went) off the ​road. Trains run onrails (= ​move along on ​top of them). Electricity is running through (= ​moving along within) this ​cable. An ​angrymuttering ran through (= went through) the ​crowd. A ​shiver of ​fear ran through his (​body). She ran her ​finger along/down the ​page/​list, ​looking for her ​name. Could you run the ​tape/​film/​video back/​forwards, ​please? Could you ​possibly run me (= take me in ​yourcar) home/to the ​station? He ran (= ​pushed) his ​fingers through his ​hair and ​looked up at me.

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  • run verb (OPERATE)

B2 [I or T] to (​cause something to) ​operate: Keep ​clear of the ​machines while they're running. The ​government took ​desperatemeasures to ​keep the ​economy running. Do you ​know how to run this ​sort of ​machinery? The ​mechanicasked me to run the ​engine (= ​switch it on and ​allow it to ​work) for a ​minute. They had the new ​computersystem up and running (= ​working) within an ​hour. We've run the ​computerprogram, but nothing ​happens. We're running (= doing) an ​experiment.B1 [T] to be in ​control of something: He's been running a ​restaurant/his own ​company since he ​leftschool. The ​localcollege runs (= ​provides) a ​course in ​self-defence. a well-run/badly-run ​organization/​business/​courserun a tight ship to ​control a ​business or other ​organizationfirmly and ​effectively: Ruth runs a ​tightship and has no ​time for ​shirkers. [T] If you run a ​car, you own one, ​drive it, and ​pay for the ​costs: I can't ​afford to run a ​car. [T] to ​organize the way you ​live or ​work: Some ​people run ​theirlivesaccording to the ​movements of the ​stars.

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  • run verb (FLOW)

B2 [I or T] to (​cause something to) ​flow, ​produceliquid, or (​especially of ​colours in ​clothes) to come out or ​spread: I can ​feeltrickles of ​sweat running down my ​neck. Don't ​cry, or ​yourmake-up will run (= ​becomeliquid and ​move down ​yourface). The ​walls were running withdamp. The ​river runs (down) to/into the ​sea. The ​hottap is running ​cold (= ​producingcoldwater)! I ​turned the ​tap on and ran some ​coldwater on the ​burn. [+ two objects] I'll run you a ​hotbath (= ​fill a ​bath with ​water for you). My ​nose and ​eyes have been running all ​week because of ​hayfever. I must have ​washed my ​dress at too high a ​temperature, because the ​colour has run. If the first ​layer isn't ​dry before you ​add the next one, the ​colours will run into each other (= ​mix).figurative After twelve ​hours at her ​computer, the words ​began to run into one another (= ​seemmixed together).

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  • run verb (BECOME)

[L only + adj] to be or ​become: Differences between the two ​sides run deep (= are ​serious). The ​river/​reservoir/well ran dry (= ​itssupply of ​waterfinished). Supplies are running low (= there's not much ​left). We're ​beginning to run short ofmoney/Money is ​beginning to run short (= there's not much ​left).

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  • run verb (SHOW)

C1 [T] to show something in a ​newspaper or ​magazine, on ​television, etc.: All the ​newspapers ran (= ​printed)stories about the new ​peacetalks. Channel 4 is running a ​series on the ​unfairness of the ​legalsystem. [I] Indian English If a ​film is running at a ​particularplace, you can ​see it there: What's running at the the Metro this ​week?
  • run verb (TAKE)

[T] to take ​guns or ​drugsillegally from one ​place to another: He was ​arrested for running ​drugs across the ​border intoAmerica.

runnoun

uk   us   /rʌn/
  • run noun (GO QUICKLY)

B1 [C] the ​action of running, ​especially for ​exercise: We go for/do a three-mile run every ​evening after ​work. If you set off at a run (= running), you'll be ​exhaustedlater.

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  • run noun (TRAVEL)

[C] a ​journey: The ​number of ​aircraft on the New York-Moscow run is being ​increased.old-fashioned Let's go for a run (out) in the ​carsomewhere. The ​planeswooped in on ​itsbombing run. [C] the ​period during which a ​play is ​performed: The musical's London run was a ​disaster. They're doing a run at the Cambridge Playhouse.

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  • run noun (SERIES)

a run of sth C2 A run of something is a ​continuousperiod during which it ​lasts or is ​repeated: a run of successes/​defeats/​badluck
  • run noun (POINT)

B2 [C] in ​cricket and ​baseball, a ​singlepoint, ​scored by running from one ​place to another: England need 105 runs to ​win the ​game. a ​home run

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  • run noun (HOLE)

(UK also ladder) [C] a ​long, ​verticalhole in tights and stockings: I've got a run in my ​tights from the ​nail on my ​chair.
(Definition of run from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"run" in American English

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runverb

 us   /rʌn/ (present participle running, past tense ran  /ræn/ , past participle run)
  • run verb (GO QUICKLY)

[I/T] to move ​yourlegsfaster than when ​walking, with the ​weight of ​yourbodypressingforward: [I] They ran for the ​bus and got there just in ​time. [T] Hugh runs five ​miles a ​day. [I] We ​want a ​place with a ​bigbackyard with ​room for the ​kids to run around. [I] fig. I’ve got to run now (= ​hurry away) because I’m late for my ​appointment.
  • run verb (TRAVEL/GO)

[I/T] to ​travel or go, to move something, or to be positioned in a ​particular way: [I] The ​bus runs three ​times a ​day between here and Albuquerque. [I] I’m going to run down to the ​bank to ​cash my ​check. [I] Trains are running twenty ​minutes late because of the ​weather. [I] The ​carskidded on the ​ice and ran off the ​road. [I] A ​shiver of ​fear ran through her. [T] John said he’d run me back to ​school (= take me there in his ​car). [I] A ​deepcreek runs through the ​property. [I] The ​road runs along the ​coast. [I/T] If you run ​yourfinger or ​hand over something, you move it ​quickly: [T] She ran her ​fingers along the ​edge of the ​desk. [I/T] If you run something through ​yourhair, you move it ​quickly and ​easily: [T] He ran a ​comb through his ​hair. [I/T] If a ​driver or a ​vehicle runs a ​sign or ​signal to ​stop, the ​vehiclecontinues without ​stopping: [T] Our ​taxi ran a ​redlight and a ​truckrammed us in the ​side.
  • run verb (OPERATE)

[I/T] to ​manage or ​operate something: [T] She runs the ​business out of her ​home. [I] She ​left the ​engine running while she went into the ​store. [T] Can you run both of these ​programs at ​once? [T] They’re running ​tests on his ​heartfunctions. [I/T] If something runs on a ​particulartype of ​energy, it uses that ​type of ​energy to ​operate: [I] Some ​calculators run on ​solarpower .
  • run verb (FLOW)

[I/T] to ​cause a ​liquid to ​flow, or to ​produce a ​liquid that ​flows: [T] He ran a little ​coldwater into the ​sink. [I] He has a ​cold and his ​nose is running. [I] Tears were running down her ​face.
  • run verb (LOSE COLOR)

[I] (of ​colors) to come out of ​material and ​mix with other ​colors, so that the ​originalcolors are ​lost: If you ​wash the ​dress in ​hotwater, the ​colors will run.
  • run verb (POLITICS)

[I] to ​try to get ​elected; be a ​candidate: Kutukas ran ​unsuccessfully for ​sheriff.
  • run verb (BE/CONTINUE)

to be, ​become, or ​continue in a ​particular way: [L] The ​doctor is running a ​bit late. [L] We’re running ​low on ​gas. [I always + adv/prep] Inflation is running at 4%. [I always + adv/prep] The show ran on Broadway for six ​weeks before ​closing.
  • run verb (SHOW)

[T] to show something in a ​newspaper or ​magazine, or on ​television: Both ​parties are already running ​campaignads.
  • run verb (HOLE)

[I] (of ​cloth, esp. ​stockings (= ​thin, tight-fitting ​clothing for a woman’s ​feet and ​legs)) to ​develop a ​longverticalhole: My ​stockings ran!

runnoun [C]

 us   /rʌn/
  • run noun [C] (POINT)

(in ​baseball) a ​singlepoint, ​scored by ​touching each of the four ​bases (= ​positions on a ​square) in the ​correctorder
  • run noun [C] (HOLE)

a ​long, ​verticalhole in ​particulartypes of ​cloth, esp. ​stockings (= ​thin, tight-fitting ​clothing for a woman’s ​feet and ​legs)
  • run noun [C] (TRAVELING/GOING)

a ​trip: The ​train made ​itsfinal run in 1986.
  • run noun [C] (BEING/CONTINUING)

a ​period during which something ​happens or ​continues: The ​moviestarts a two-week run ​tonight.
(Definition of run from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"run" in Business English

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runverb

uk   us   /rʌn/ (running, ran, run)
[I or T] to ​operate, or make something ​operate: Keep ​clear of the fans while they're running. Do you know how to run this ​sort of ​machinery? We've run the ​computerprogram, but nothing ​happens.
[T] MANAGEMENT to be in ​control of or ​manage something: He's been running his own ​company since he ​left school. She ​left me to run the ​store while she went on her ​lunchbreak. well-run/poorly-rungovernment-run/family-run/student-run The ​restaurant is a family-run ​business. privately-run/publicly-run/professionally-run
[I or T] TRANSPORT to ​travel or ​move in a particular way, or cause something to do this: Trains are still running, despite the ​snow. A bus runs into town three ​times a day. We're running four more ​trains than usual to ​accommodate the high ​number of ​passengers.
[I or T] to continue or ​happen, or cause something to continue or ​happen in a particular way: A ​magazinesubscription usually runs for one ​year. We'll be running the ​course for another ​year.run smoothly/run according to plan To ensure that these ​projects run smoothly, ​executives are now encouraged to ​attendtrainingcourses.
[T] to take something to a ​person or ​place: run sth over/out/down, etc. to sb/sth Can you run these ​orders over to the ​warehouse, please?
[I] to be or continue at or near a particular ​level: run at sth Inflation has been running at 2% for the past ​year. Supplies are running ​low.
[T] to show something in a ​newspaper or ​magazine, on ​television, etc.: run a story/​article/​piece They ran the advertisement on all the ​majornetworks for a month.
[I] POLITICS, GOVERNMENT to ​try to be ​elected to ​government or other ​position in an ​election: run for sth He ran for ​state Attorney General in 2010. Meyers decided to run for ​office again the ​followingyear.run against sb She is running against a multi-millionaire ​businessman.
run a check (on sb/sth) to ​look through ​records to ​find out facts about someone or something: We run ​backgroundchecks on all ​prospectiveemployees.
run a test (on sth) to ​perform a scientific ​examination to ​determine if something ​works, someone is ​healthy, etc.: We ran ​performancetests on the preproduction ​machine, which ​performed well. Doctors ran ​tests to ​try to ​determine if the ​workers' ​health problems were ​work-related.
run a deficit/surplus ECONOMICS, GOVERNMENT if a ​government runs a ​deficit or ​surplus, it has less or more ​money in its ​accounts than it ​needs: The previous ​government was happy to run a huge ​deficit for ​years.
run a/the risk of doing sth to be in a ​situation in which there is the possibility that something ​bad might ​happen: A ​company without good ​customerservice runs the ​risk of ​losing its ​customers' good will.
run a tight ship to ​control a ​business or other ​organization firmly and ​effectively: The woman who ​manages the ​postroom runs a very ​tightship.
run your eye over sth to ​look quickly at the whole of something: Would you mind running your ​eye over this ​agreement before I ​sign it?
be running late to be unable to get to a ​place by the ​agreed or expected ​time
run around in circles informal to be very ​active without ​achieving any good ​results: Peter's been running round in circles since half his ​departmentresigned.
run out of time to have no ​timeleft to ​finish something or get to a ​place: We're running out of ​time - the ​report has to be ​ready for the ​meeting tonight.
run short (of sth) to have a ​lowsupply of something: Forecasting is crucial: you don't want to run ​short or have a ​warehouse of ​unsoldproduct. The ​onlinetravelsite denies that it is running ​short of ​cash.
run the numbers FINANCE to do ​calculations in ​order to decide whether a particular ​plan is ​financially practical: She ran the ​numbers and decided to re-finance her ​mortgage.
run the rule over sth to ​examine something to see if it is good enough or ​right for a particular ​purpose: A ​number of ​bidders are understood to be running the ​rule over the ​company.
run the show informal to be the ​leader in ​control of a ​group of ​people doing something: If you need ​help, ​ask Mark - he's running the show.
See also

runnoun [C]

uk   us   /rʌn/
PRODUCTION all of a particular ​product made at one ​time: The first run of 50,000 ​unitssold out in a week. The ​book had an ​initial print run of 3,000 ​copies. Smaller production runs are likely to be needed.
a ​period when a ​series of good things or ​bad things ​happen: a run of good/bad luck We've had quite a run of good luck this month.
a run on sth COMMERCE a ​period when ​peoplebuy more of a particular ​product than usual: The warm ​weather sparked a run on ​air conditioners. ECONOMICS a ​period when many ​people suddenly ​sell more of a particular ​currency than usual: a run on the dollar/pound/yen A sudden run on the ​dollar has ​lowered its ​value.
a run on the bank BANKING, FINANCE, ECONOMICS a ​period when many ​people take their ​money out of a ​bank because they are afraid the ​bank will go out of ​business: A run on the ​bank by ​customersdrained about $133 million.
(Definition of run from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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