from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small motorboat.
  • n. A light aircraft.
  • n. A small, open automobile or carriage.
  • n. A vagabond or wanderer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several small vehicles, especially a small motor car for use on short journeys.
  • n. A motor car having a single row of seats (Wikipedia).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A gadabout; a vagabond.
  • n. Any light open wagon for ready and handy use.
  • n. A small, light-weight, open motor-car, or one fitted with a buggy-top, designed to carry two persons, and intended to operate in towns or cities or within short distances; also a small motor-boat.
  • n. One of a herd of cattle left to run about and graze at will.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an open automobile having a front seat and a rumble seat


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • While the runabout is a faster deep-space vessel, the streamlined hull and large reinforced wings of the aeroshuttle make it significantly more efficient in high-speed atmospheric maneuvers and operations.


  • The trip to Bajor was too far for a transporter, and the runabout was the only way to get them there.

    Objective: Bajor

  • The last sight that Commander Sisko had of Bashir as the young doctor vanished into the runabout was a smug grin.


  • As she turned the corner of West Street, she saw, beside the canal and directly in front of the bridge, a new and smart-looking automobile, painted crimson and black, of the type known as a runabout, which she recognized as belonging to Mr. Ditmar.

    The Dwelling Place of Light — Complete

  • The runabout was a bare fifty yards ahead of her, and it was coming on with a speed which shook even Lady's excitement-craving nerves.

    Further Adventures of Lad

  • Lee goes to see her twice a week, and on Sunday afternoon takes her out in his new and rakish runabout, that is as modern as his behavior is obsolete.

    The Tinder-Box

  • Reports have suggested the 23-foot half-cabin runabout, which is only licensed to hold eight passengers, was taken without permission from the owners. The Northern Star

  • The only reason they hadn’t done the same to the runabout was the tiny ship’s size, speed, and ability to turn on a dime.

    The Search

  • It was a tiring "runabout" but it was refreshing to be out in the mountains and explore what I want to see. News

  • Poor Mister Nog, going to all that trouble to scan me every time I stepped out of a runabout, and never looking at the stash of souvenirs I had left in the runabout.

    Star Trek The Next Generation®


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  • A four-wheeled vehicle for utilitarian travel, the runabout was a light carriage easily hitched by one person and easily pulled over long distances by a single horse.

    October 22, 2008