Definition of “run” - English Dictionary

“run” in English

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uk /rʌn/ 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 quick steps in which each foot is lifted before the next foot touches the ground:

[ + to infinitive ] The children had to run to keep up with their father.
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 nearest rival.
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 post office and get me some stamps?
You don't put on weight when you spend all day running around after small children.
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 move your legs as if running, while you stay in one place:

I run on the spot to warm up before I start training.

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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 particular route at particular times) 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 climbing rose bush runs (= grows) up the side of the door.
There's a beautiful cornice running around/round all the ceilings.
The film runs (= lasts) for two hours.
The show/course/film runs (= continues) for another week.
A magazine subscription usually only runs (= can be used) for one year.
Buses are running an hour late, because of an earlier accident.
The truck's brakes failed and it ran (= went) off the road.
Trains run on rails (= move along on top of them).
Electricity is running through (= moving along within) this cable.
An angry muttering 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 your car) 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 desperate measures to keep the economy running.
Do you know how to run this sort of machinery?
The mechanic asked me to run the engine (= switch it on and allow it to work) for a minute.
They had the new computer system up and running (= working) within an hour.
We've run the computer program, 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 left school.
a well-run/badly-run organization/business/course
run a tight ship

to control a business or other organization firmly and effectively:

Ruth runs a tight ship 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 their lives according to the movements of the stars.

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run verb (FLOW)

B2 [ I or T ] to (cause something to) flow, produce liquid, or (especially of colours in clothes) to come out or spread:

I can feel trickles of sweat running down my neck.
Don't cry, or your make-up will run (= become liquid and move down your face).
The walls were running with damp.
The river runs (down) to/into the sea.
The hot tap is running cold (= producing cold water)!
I turned the tap on and ran some cold water on the burn.
[ + two objects ] I'll run you a hot bath (= fill a bath with water for you).
My nose and eyes have been running all week because of hay fever.
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 (= seem mixed 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 (= its supply of water finished).
Supplies are running low (= there's not much left).
We're beginning to run short of money/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 peace talks.
Channel 4 is running a series on the unfairness of the legal system.

[ I ] Indian English If a film is running at a particular place, you can see it there:

What's running at the the Metro this week?


uk /rʌn/ 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 exhausted later.

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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 car somewhere.
The plane swooped in on its bombing 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 (POINT)

B2 [ C ] in cricket and baseball, a single point, scored by running from one place to another:

England need 105 runs to win the game.
a home run

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(Definition of “run” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“run” in American English

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us /rʌn/ present participle running, past tense ran /ræn/ , past participle run

run verb (GO QUICKLY)

[ I/T ] to move your legs faster than when walking, with the weight of your body pressing forward:

[ 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 big backyard 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 car skidded 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 deep creek runs through the property.
[ I ] The road runs along the coast.

[ I/T ] If you run your finger 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 your hair, 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 vehicle continues without stopping:

[ T ] Our taxi ran a red light and a truck rammed 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 heart functions.

[ I/T ] If something runs on a particular type of energy, it uses that type of energy to operate:

run verb (FLOW)

[ I/T ] to cause a liquid to flow, or to produce a liquid that flows:

[ T ] He ran a little cold water 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 original colors are lost:

If you wash the dress in hot water, 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 campaign ads.

run verb (HOLE)

[ I ] (of cloth, esp. stockings (= thin, tight-fitting clothing for a woman’s feet and legs)) to develop a long vertical hole:

My stockings ran!

runnoun [ C ]

us /rʌn/

run noun [ C ] (POINT)

(in baseball) a single point, scored by touching each of the four bases (= positions on a square) in the correct order

run noun [ C ] (HOLE)

a long, vertical hole in particular types 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 its final run in 1986.

run noun [ C ] (BEING/CONTINUING)

a period during which something happens or continues:

The movie starts 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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uk /rʌn/ us 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 computer program, 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 lunch break.
government-run/family-run/student-run The restaurant is a family-run business.

[ 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 magazine subscription 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 attend training courses.

[ 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 major networks 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 following year.
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:

run a test (on sth)

to perform a scientific examination to determine if something works, someone is healthy, etc.:

We ran performance tests 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 customer service 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 post room runs a very tight ship.
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 department resigned.
run out of time

to have no time left 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 low supply of something:

Forecasting is crucial: you don't want to run short or have a warehouse of unsold product.
The online travel site 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.

runnoun [ C ]

uk /rʌn/ us

PRODUCTION all of a particular product made at one time:

The first run of 50,000 units sold 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 people buy 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 customers drained about $133 million.

(Definition of “run” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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Registration using the second procedure would run counter to the future chocolate directive, because chocolate is redefined and may contain a certain proportion of vegetable fats other than cocoa butter.
Unusually, everything has run very early tonight.
He is the messenger for a presidency that has run out of ideas, run out of steam and is rapidly running out of time.
The development of this sector of the economy stimulates not only the catering, hotel and transport services, but in the long run also innovation, culture, art and agriculture.
The clear conclusion is that the most important role of delegations is the administration of external assistance, not to try and run some additional diplomatic tasks.
Are we not more likely to run the risk that such beaches will simply no longer be designated as bathing water, while people continue to swim in it?
To the other question, ‘do we need this organisation the way it is currently run?’, however, my response would be far more cautious.
We have now been discussing this subject for five years, and it would not make any sense at all to re-run all those discussions.
Emotions run high where food is concerned: against globalisation, large-scale production and genetic modification, and in favour of local produce, tradition and diversity.
Execution only is not a continental practice and by suddenly imposing it we would run the risk of destabilising many investors.