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hit-and-run

1. adjective (used before the noun) Guilty of causing a motor-vehicle accident and fleeing the scene so as not to be identified and held responsible. Police are appealing for witnesses to help identify the hit-and-run driver of this morning's fatal accident.
2. adjective (used before the noun) Of, involving, or resulting from a traffic accident in which the person responsible has fled the scene. This one intersection has seen more hit-and-run fatalities than the rest of the state combined.
3. adjective (used before the noun) Involving or relying on swift, effective action followed by rapid departure. There have been more hit-and-run attacks on military bases this month, as dissidents continue to intensify their guerrilla warfare tactics.
4. adjective (used before the noun) In baseball, of, involving, or denoting a play in which a base runner leaves for the next base as soon as the ball is pitched to the batter. The runner managed to steal third base as the ball rocketed down midfield in a beautiful hit-and-run maneuver.
5. noun (not always hyphenated) The act of causing or contributing to a motor-vehicle accident on the road and fleeing the scene so as not to be identified and held responsible. Luckily, a more concentrated police presence near busy intersections has cut down on the number of hit-and-runs over the past two years. No, officer, he left the scene—it was a hit and run!
6. verb (not always hyphenated) To cause or contribute to a hit-and-run. Some jerk decided to hit-and-run our parked car. Our insurance will cover it, but our premium is sure to go up! Using security camera footage, police were able to identify the driver who hit and ran an elderly couple late last night.
7. verb (not always hyphenated) In baseball, to attempt or execute a hit-and-run play. The score was deadlocked the entire game, but when one player hit-and-ran in the last inning she was able to set up the winning run.

(one's) blood runs cold

One becomes seized by an acute and intense sensation of fear, panic, horror, or dread. My blood ran cold when I overheard that a police officer had been asking about me at work. Janet could feel her blood run cold when the murderer she was testifying against walked into the courtroom.
See also: blood, cold, run

run a temperature

To have an abnormally high body temperature (a fever), which is indicative of or caused by illness. Dan: "How's Pete feeling?" Marshall: "Well, he ran a temperature last night, but he seemed a lot better this morning after some rest." I think I've started running a temperature. Maybe I should go lie down.
See also: run, temperature

run about

1. Literally, to run haphazardly or in different directions in an area. Primarily heard in UK. We took the kids to the park so they could run about for a couple of hours.
2. Figuratively, to be exceptionally busy doing many different tasks or activities, especially in several different locations. Primarily heard in UK. I've been running about all afternoon getting things for Carol's party this evening. I can't wait for the weekend. I've had to run about all week getting little jobs done for my boss, and I'm exhausted!
See also: run

run amuck

1. To behave or run around in a wild, unruly, out-of-control manner; to be or become crazy or chaotic. We tried to have some organized games for the kids, but they all started running amuck as soon as they got here. The villagers were cleaning up debris for days after the bulls ran amuck through the streets.
2. To become bad or go awry; to get out of control; to go haywire. This whole operation has run amuck. I don't know how we can be expected to finish under the deadline in these conditions.
3. dated To rush around in a violent, murderous frenzy. (Note: This is the phrase's original specific meaning, taken from Malay. "Amuck" is an older alternative spelling of "amok," which is preferred today.) Fueled by alcohol and cocaine, Dave ran amuck when his wife told him she'd been seeing someone else. Luckily, a neighbor called the police when they heard such a commotion.
See also: amuck, run

run (a)round in circles

To waste one's time and energy engaging in trivial, aimless, or futile activities. I tried to get an outline drafted for my thesis, but my ideas were so jumbled in my head that I just kept running round in circles. The committee spent all afternoon trying to come up with a new PR proposal, but they ran around in circles the whole time.
See also: circle, run

run down the clock

In sports, to protect a lead by using up as much possible time that remains in a game or match without giving the opposing team a chance to score, generally by maintaining a passive or defensive strategy. With just a narrow two-point lead, the home team is trying to run down the clock to hold out for a win. I don't know, Jim, there's a lot of game time left for them to start running down the clock already.
See also: clock, down, run

run for the hills

1. To move to higher ground, as in preparation for or in response to a natural disaster. There are bound to be tidal waves after an earthquake like that. We'd better run for the hills!
2. To flee hastily; to clear out or depart quickly. Uh oh, Uncle Jerome's been drinking again. Run for the hills, everyone! The staff all ran for the hills when it was announced that there would be a stock-take at the end of the shift.
See also: hill, run

run foul of (someone or something)

To be in severe disagreement, trouble, or difficulty with someone or something; to be at odds with someone or something, especially due to disobeying rules or laws. Always look into the laws of any place you visit, or you may end up unwittingly running foul of the local police. Ms. Banks has run foul of this university for the last time. She is no longer welcome here!
See also: foul, of, run

run hot and cold

To vacillate between two opposing or starkly different states, opinions, or behaviors. Dan: "So, how are things going between you and Mallory?" Sarah: "Hard to tell. She runs hot and cold one day to the next, so I can never tell how she really feels!" The boss has been running hot and cold about whether or not we're going through with this project. I wish she would just make a decision!
See also: and, cold, hot, run

run on empty

1. To be particularly ineffectual, insubstantial, or unsuccessful. The high production value means that the film is visually stunning, but no amount of aesthetic beauty can save a film whose paper-thin plot runs on empty from start to finish. The former president promised quite a lot in his campaign speeches, but his administration ran on empty throughout his time in the White House.
2. To continue to operate with no or very little enthusiasm, energy, or resources left. (Usually used in the continuous tense.) I've been painting the house for four hours every night after work, and I am seriously running on empty at this point. We were running on empty by the time our team made it to the championship round.
See also: empty, on, run

run on fumes

1. To be especially ineffectual, insubstantial, or unsuccessful. The high production value means that the film is visually stunning, but no amount of aesthetic beauty can save a film whose paper-thin plot runs on fumes from start to finish. The former president promised quite a lot in his campaign speeches, but his administration ran on fumes throughout his time in the White House.
2. To continue to operate with no or very little enthusiasm, energy, or resources left. (Usually used in the continuous tense.) I've been painting the house for four hours every night after work, and I am seriously running on fumes at this point. We were running on fumes by the time our team made it to the championship round.
See also: fume, on, run

run (one's) own show

To have complete autonomy or authority over something; to do something according solely to one's own inclinations, desires, opinions, etc. You can tell that the manager, so used to running his own show in the office, is finding it hard to adjust to having a boss of his own just a few doors down. The CEO's son really ran his own show in here for the last few years, until he was finally busted for fraud and removed from the company.
See also: run, show

run roughshod over (someone or something)

To treat someone or something with marked disdain, brutality, or contempt; to act without regard for the well-being of something or someone. In her ascent to the top of the political ladder, the senator ran roughshod over anyone who stood in her way. This new administration has run roughshod over the political goodwill that the previous president forged with the recent foreign ally.
See also: roughshod, run

run (someone) off his or her feet

To make someone work very hard and/or quickly, especially to an exhausting or exasperating degree; to make great demands of someone's time or energy. With the recent reductions in staff, my boss has been running me off my feet lately! Just about every parent on the planet knows how kids can run you off your feet.
See also: feet, off, run

run the clock down

In sports, to protect a lead by using up as much possible time that remains in a game or match without giving the opposing team a chance to score, generally by maintaining a passive or defensive strategy. With just a narrow two-point lead, the home team has started to run the clock down to hold on for a win. It seems like a risky strategy, Jim. There's a lot of game time left for them to start running the clock down already.
See also: clock, down, run

run wild

To behave or run around in a wild, unruly, out-of-control manner; to be or become crazy or chaotic. We tried to have some organized games for the kids, but they all started running wild as soon as they got here. The villagers were cleaning up debris for days after the bulls ran wild through the streets.
See also: run, wild

run with scissors

To willfully act in a reckless, foolish, and/or dangerous manner. Alludes to the literal act of running with a pair of scissors in one's hand, which can cause severe injury. I went through a really rebellious phase in high school and made a point of constantly running with scissors, so to speak, as a way of acting out. Jane's daughter has run with scissors so frequently by now that the family doesn't try to keep her under control anymore.
See also: run

a shiver ran down (one's/someone's) spine

Said when one has experienced an intense feeling of fear, panic, dread, shock, exhilaration, or excitement. A shiver ran down John's spine when he overheard the managers discussing the money he'd stolen from the company safe. A cold shiver ran down my spine at the thought of having to work for another minute in that awful restaurant. When they announced that Sarah would have the chance to meet a movie star as a part of her prize, a shiver ran down her spine.
See also: down, ran, shiver, spine

a shiver ran up (one's/someone's) spine

Said when one has experienced an intense feeling of fear, panic, dread, shock, exhilaration, or excitement. A shiver ran down John's spine when he overheard the managers discussing the money he'd stolen from the company safe. A cold shiver ran down my spine at the thought of having to work for another minute in that awful restaurant. When they announced that Sarah would have the chance to meet a movie star as a part of her prize, a shiver ran down her spine.
See also: ran, shiver, spine, up

run off smell of an oily rag

Of a motor vehicle, to operate with exceptionally good fuel efficiency. Primarily heard in Australia, New Zealand. This trusty little car may not look like much, but she runs off the smell of an oily rag.
See also: of, off, oily, rag, run, smell

run on the smell of an oily rag

Of a motor vehicle, to operate with exceptionally good fuel efficiency. Primarily heard in Australia, New Zealand. This trusty little car may not look like much, but she runs on the smell of an oily rag.
See also: of, oily, on, rag, run, smell

run out of town

To be forced to leave a place, usually due to one's indiscretions or misdeeds. Now that this scandal is public knowledge, I'm afraid that I'm going to be run out of town. When people found out that my grandmother had had an affair while my grandfather was fighting in the war, she was run out of town.
See also: of, out, run, town

also-ran

someone of no significance. (From horse racing, used of a horse that finishes a race but that does not finish among the money winners.) Oh, he's just another also-ran. Ignore the also-rans.

also-ran

Loser, failure, unsuccessful individual, as in Jane feared that her candidate, a terrible speaker, would end up as an also-ran, or As for getting promotions, Mark counted himself among the also-rans. This term comes from racing, where it describes a horse that finishes in fourth place or lower or does not finish a race at all. It first appeared in the 1890s in published racing results, and has since been transferred to losers in any kind of competition, and also more broadly to persons who simply don't do well.

course of true love never ran smoothly, the

Lovers often face difficulties, as in Every time he tells me that he and his wife are fighting, I say the same thing-you know about the course of true love . The full term is a quotation from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (1:1): "The course of true love never did run smooth." Over the years it has become so familiar that today it is often shortened, as in the example.
See also: course, love, never, of, ran, true
References in periodicals archive ?
The Black Baron 5 ran Race rating 13 NEW Record of first two home: 1 win from 1 runs - Pete The Feat = +3 Record of last three home: 1 win from 3 runs - Well Refreshed = +2 Total record: 2 wins from 4 runs (50%) for a profit of +PS11 to PS1 levels.
Terdaad 10 ran Record of first five home: 1 win from 5 runs - Chapter And Verse = +3 Record of last five home: 1 win from 3 runs - George Guru = +2 Total record: 2 wins from 8 runs (25%) for a profit of +PS11 to PS1 levels.
Laughing Game 8 ran Record of first four home: 0 win from 0 run = 0 Record of last four home: 2 wins from 3 runs - Quartz De Montceau, Ballinhassig = +4 Total record: 2 wins from 3 runs (67%) for a profit of +PS19 to PS1 levels.
In The Crowd 10 ran Record of first five home: 2 wins from 3 runs - Vasco D'Ycy, In The Crowd = +4 Record of last five home: 0 win from 1 run = 0 Total record: 2 wins from 4 runs (50%) for a profit of +PS11 to PS1 levels.
Powerful Ambition 13 ran Record of first six home: 0 win from 1 run = +1 Record of last seven home: 2 wins from 3 runs - Saints And Sinners, Aye Well = +3 Total record: 2 wins from 4 runs (50%) for a profit of +PS10 to PS1 levels.
Freckle Face 11 ran Record of first five home: 3 wins from 3 runs - Home Run (2 runs), Uimhir A Seacht = +6 Record of last six home: 0 win from 3 runs = -2 Total record: 3 wins from 6 runs (50%) for a profit of +PS8 to PS1 levels.
Fulgora 11 ran Record of first five home: 3 wins from 5 runs - Queens Grove (2 wins), Fulgora = +6 Record of last six home: 0 win from 3 runs = -2 Total record: 3 wins from 8 runs (37%) for a profit of +PS13 to PS1 levels.