from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or an instance of running.
  • noun The power or ability to run.
  • noun Sports The exercise or sport of someone who runs.
  • adjective Ongoing over a period of time.
  • adjective Set in continuous or unbroken lines.
  • adjective Printed at the top or bottom of every page or every other page.
  • adverb In a consecutive way.
  • idiom (in the running) Entered as a contender in a competition.
  • idiom (in the running) Having the possibility of winning or placing well in a competition.
  • idiom (out of the running) Not entered as a contender in a competition.
  • idiom (out of the running) Having no possibility of winning or placing well in a competition.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of one who or that which runs.
  • noun Specifically, the act of one who risks or evades dangers or legal restrictions, as in running a blockade or smuggling.
  • noun The action of a whale after being struck by the harpoon, when it swims but does not sound.
  • noun In racing, etc., power, ability, or strength to run; hence, staying power.
  • noun The ranging of any animals, particularly in connection with the rut, or other actions of the breeding season: also used attributively: as, the running time of salmon or deer.
  • noun In organ-building, a leakage of the air in a wind-chest into a channel so that a pipe is sounded when its digital is depressed, although its stop is not drawn; also, the sound of a pipe thus sounded. Also called running of the wind.
  • noun That which runs or flows; the quantity run: as, the first running of a still, or of cider at the mill.
  • noun Course, direction, or manner of flowing or moving.
  • That runs; suited for running, racing, etc. See run, n., 1 .
  • Specifically, in zoology, cursorial; gressorial; ambulatory; not salient or saltatory.
  • Capable of moving quickly; movable; mobilized.
  • Done, made, taken, etc., in passing, or while hastening along; hence, cursory; hasty; speedy.
  • Cursive, as manuscript: as, running hand (see below).
  • Proceeding in close succession; without intermission: used in a semi-adverbial sense after nouns denoting periods of time: as, I had the same dream three nights running.
  • Continuous; unintermittent; persistent.
  • In botany, repent or creeping by runners, as the strawberry. See runner, 2.
  • A horizontal board along the ridge of a box freight-car or the side of an oil-car, to form a passage for the trainmen.
  • In machinery, moving; not held tightly; not fixed. A running fit is one where two surfaces in contact fit so loosely that one can move freely past the other.
  • Approaching; going on.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of one who, or of that which runs.
  • noun That which runs or flows; the quantity of a liquid which flows in a certain time or during a certain operation.
  • noun The discharge from an ulcer or other sore.
  • noun [Obs.] in the long run.
  • adjective Moving or advancing by running.
  • adjective Having a running gait; not a trotter or pacer.
  • adjective trained and kept for running races.
  • adjective Successive; one following the other without break or intervention; -- said of periods of time.
  • adjective Flowing; easy; cursive.
  • adjective Continuous; keeping along step by step.
  • adjective (Bot.) Extending by a slender climbing or trailing stem.
  • adjective (Med.) Discharging pus.
  • adjective (Mech.) a block in an arrangement of pulleys which rises or sinks with the weight which is raised or lowered.
  • adjective a narrow platform extending along the side of a locomotive.
  • adjective (Naut.) Same as Reefing bowsprit.
  • adjective (Com.) the consecutive days occupied on a voyage under a charter party, including Sundays and not limited to the working days.
  • adjective a constant fire of musketry or cannon.
  • adjective the wheels and axles of a vehicle, and their attachments, in distinction from the body; all the working parts of a locomotive or other machine, in distinction from the framework.
  • adjective a style of rapid writing in which the letters are usually slanted and the words formed without lifting the pen; -- distinguished from round hand.
  • adjective (Naut.) that part of a rope that is hauled upon, -- in distinction from the standing part.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The term "running quarterback" is usually met with disdain in the NFL, but if teams can't figure out how to beat it, wouldn't you want to keep at it? News Bob Cook 2011

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  • Similarly I think that depression is the necessary aversive state between "normal" and a state of extreme metabolic stress, as in running from a bear.

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  • The meeting comes as the Bernanke waits for what promises to be a contentious vote in the Senate on his nomination to another term running the U.S. central bank for another four years.

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  • Mohamed bin Hammam has said he will step down as AFC chief if he loses his FIFA position, despite his term running until 2011.

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  • While he and his cross-country coach shared a similar running philosophy—which he describes as "running with the heart," or drawing motivation from one's internal fire—the track coach demanded that he run by the stopwatch.

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