(ran; also chiefly dialect run; run; running)
Etymology: Middle English ronnen, alteration of rinnen, verbi. (from Old English iernan, rinnan & Old Norse rinna) & of rennen, verbt., from Old Norse renna; akin to Old High German rinnan, verbi., to run, Sanskrit riṇāti he causes to flow, and probably to Latin rivus stream
Date: before 12th century
a. to go faster than a walk; specifically to go steadily by springing steps so that both feet leave the ground for an instant in each step
b. of a horse to move at a fast gallop
c. flee, retreat, escape <dropped the gun and ran> d. to utilize a running play on offense — used of a football team 2. a. to go without restraint ; move freely about at will <let chickens run loose> b. to keep company ; consort <a ram running with ewes> <ran with a wild crowd when he was young> c. to sail before the wind in distinction from reaching or sailing close-hauled d. roam, rove <running about with no overcoat> 3. a. to go rapidly or hurriedly ; hasten <run and fetch the doctor> b. to go in urgency or distress ; resort <runs to mother at every little difficulty> c. to make a quick, easy, or casual trip or visit <ran over to borrow some sugar> 4. a. to contend in a race b. to enter into an election contest <will run for mayor> 5. a. to move on or as if on wheels ; glide <file drawers running on ball bearings> b. to roll forward rapidly or freely c. to pass or slide freely <a rope runs through the pulley> d. to ravel lengthwise <stockings guaranteed not to run> 6. to sing or play a musical passage quickly <run up the scale> 7. a. to go back and forth ; ply <the train runs between New York and Washington> b. of fish to migrate or move in considerable numbers; especially to move up or down a river to spawn 8. a. turn, rotate <a swiftly running grindstone> b. function, operate <the engine runs on gasoline> <software that runs on her computer> 9. a. (1) to continue in force, operation, or production <the contract has two more years to run> <the play ran for six months> (2) to have a specified duration, extent, or length <the manuscript runs nearly 500 pages> b. to accompany as a valid obligation or right <a right-of-way that runs with the land> c. to continue to accrue or become payable <interest on the loan runs from July 1> 10. to pass from one state to another <run into debt> 11. a. to flow rapidly or under pressure b. melt, fuse c. spread, dissolve <colors guaranteed not to run> d. to discharge liquid (as pus or serum) <a running sore> 12. a. to develop rapidly in some specific direction; especially to throw out an elongated shoot of growth b. to tend to produce or develop a specified quality or feature <they run to big noses in that family> 13. a. to lie in or take a certain direction <the boundary line runs east> b. to lie or extend in relation to something c. to go back ; reach d. (1) to be in a certain form or expression <the letter runs as follows> (2) to be in a certain order of succession 14. a. to occur persistently <musical talent runs in the family> b. (1) to remain of a specified size, amount, character, or quality <profits were running high> (2) to have or maintain a relative position or condition (as in a race) <ran third> <running late> c. to exist or occur in a continuous range of variation <shades run from white to dark gray> 15. a. to spread or pass quickly from point to point <chills ran up her spine> b. to be current ; circulate <speculation ran rife> transitive verb 1. a. to cause (an animal) to go rapidly ; ride or drive fast b. to bring to a specified condition by or as if by running <ran himself to death> c. to go in pursuit of ; hunt, chase <dogs that run deer> d. to follow the trail of backward ; trace <ran the rumor to its source> e. to enter, register, or enroll as a contestant in a race f. to put forward as a candidate for office g. to carry (the football) on a running play 2. a. to drive (livestock) especially to a grazing place b. to provide pasturage for (livestock) c. to keep or maintain (livestock) on or as if on pasturage 3. a. (1) to pass over or traverse with speed (2) to run on or over in athletic competition <runs the bases well> <run the floor> b. to accomplish or perform by or as if by running <ran a great race> <run errands> c. to slip or go through or past <run a blockade> <run a red light> d. to travel on (as a river) in a boat <run the rapids> 4. a. to cause to penetrate or enter ; thrust <ran a splinter into her toe> b. stitch c. to cause to pass ; lead <run a wire in from the antenna> d. to cause to collide <ran his head into a post> e. smuggle <run guns> 5. to cause to pass lightly or quickly over, along, or into something <ran her eye down the list> 6. a. to cause or allow (as a vehicle or a vessel) to go in a specified manner or direction <ran the car off the road> b. operate <run a lathe> c. to direct the business or activities of ; manage, conduct <run a factory> d. to employ or supervise in espionage <run an agent> 7. a. to be full of or drenched with <streets ran blood> b. contain, assay 8. a. to cause to move or flow in a specified way or into a specified position <run cards into a file> b. to cause to produce a flow (as of water) <run the faucet>; also to prepare by running a faucet <run a hot bath> 9. a. to melt and cast in a mold <run bullets> b. treat, process, refine <run oil in a still> <run a problem through a computer> 10. to make oneself liable to ; incur <ran the risk of discovery> 11. to mark out ; draw <run a contour line on a map> 12. a. to permit (as charges) to accumulate before settling <run a tab at the bar> — often used with up <ran up a large phone bill> b. cost 1 <rooms that run $50 a night> 13. a. to produce by or as if by printing — usually used with off <ran off 10,000 copies of the first edition> b. to carry in a printed medium ; print <every newspaper ran the story> 14. a. to make (a series of counts) without a miss <run 19 in an inning in billiards> b. to lead winning cards of (a suit) successively c. to alter by addition <ran his record to six wins and four losses> 15. to make (a golf ball) roll forward after alighting Usage: The past tense run still survives in speech in southern England and in the speech especially of older people in some parts of the United States It was formerly used in literature, and was a standard variant in our dictionaries from 1828 until 1934. Grammarians have generally opposed it, and many people consider it nonstandard. Just about everybody uses ran in writing now. II. noun Date: 14th century 1. a. an act or the action of running ; continued rapid movement b. a quickened gallop c. a migration of fish (as up or down a river) especially to spawn; also such fish in the process of migration d. a running race <a mile run> e. a score made in baseball by a runner reaching home plate safely f. strength or ability to run g. a gain of a usually specified distance made on a running play in football <scored on a 25-yard run>; also a running play h. a sustained usually aggressive effort (as to win or obtain something) <making a run at the championship> 2. a. chiefly Midland creek 2 b. something that flows in the course of an operation or during a particular time <the first run of sap in sugar maples> 3. a. the stern of the underwater body of a ship from where it begins to curve or slope upward and inward b. the direction in which a vein of ore lies c. a direction of secondary or minor cleavage ; grain <the run of a mass of granite> d. a horizontal distance (as that covered by a flight of steps) e. general tendency or direction 4. a continuous period or series especially of things of identical or similar sort <a run of bad luck>: as a. a rapid passage up or down a scale in vocal or instrumental music b. a number of rapid small dance steps executed in even tempo c. the act of making successively a number of successful shots or strokes; also the score thus made <a run of 20 in billiards> d. an unbroken course of performances or showings <a long run on Broadway> e. a set of consecutive measurements, readings, or observations f. persistent and heavy demands from depositors, creditors, or customers <a run on a bank> g. sequence 2b 5. the quantity of work turned out in a continuous operation <a press run of 10,000 copies> 6. the usual or normal kind, character, type, or group <the average run of students> 7. a. the distance covered in a period of continuous traveling or sailing b. a course or trip especially if mapped out and traveled with regularity c. a news reporter's regular territory ; beat d. freedom of movement in or access to a place or area <has the run of the house> 8. a. the period during which a machine or plant is in continuous operation b. the use of machinery for a single set of processing procedures <a computer run> 9. a. a way, track, or path frequented by animals b. an enclosure for domestic animals where they may feed or exercise c. Australian (1) a large area of land used for grazing <a sheep run> (2) ranch, station <run-holder> d. an inclined passageway 10. a. an inclined course (as for skiing or bobsledding) b. a support (as a track, pipe, or trough) on which something runs 11. a. a ravel in a knitted fabric (as in hosiery) caused by the breaking of stitches b. a paint defect caused by excessive flow 12. plural but singular or plural in construction diarrhea — used with the • runless adjective III. adjective Date: 1774 1. a. being in a melted state <run butter> b. made from molten material ; cast in a mold <run metal> 2. of fish having made a migration or spawning run <a fresh run salmon> 3. exhausted or winded from running
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.