run circles around

run circles around (someone)

1. To move much faster than someone else. I'm sure you could run circles around me at this stage; I'm so out of shape!
2. To greatly outclass or outperform someone in some activity. Her presentation on the way molecules bind together was so polished and well researched—she absolutely ran circles around the other students. The reigning champions are running circles around their fatigued opponents as we head into the fourth quarter.
See also: around, circle, run

run circles around someone

 and run rings around someone
Fig. to outrun or outdo someone. (Alludes to someone who runs fast enough to run in circles around a competitor and still win the race.) John is a much better racer than Mary. He can run circles around her. Mary can run rings around Sally.
See also: around, circle, run
References in periodicals archive ?
Kept like inventory in muddy fields, row after row of tethered dogs bark, howl and run circles around dilapidated wooden"houses" or plastic barrels their only shelter from the elements.
This could open the door for lesser-known cryptocurrencies to run circles around this recent darling in 2018.
The telcos are so well-entrenched in that miserable excuse for a regulatory agency they run circles around customers who dare to complain, thanks to NTC officials who couldn't care less.
It wasn't as if the Clippers were complaining, even after watching Durant and the Warriors run circles around them during a 120-75 beat-down at Oracle Arena.
Rhino team leader at Knowsley Safari, Jason Doherty, says: "Nomvula is a bundle of energy and continues to run circles around patient mum Meru.
Here's the problem: His sex drive could run circles around mine.
Suleimani seemed a man who could run circles around rival commanders.
They can run circles around men in trust, loyalty and honesty.
We jump on chairs, upend the boards, and about 200 nails go flying in the air as we run circles around the room.
Smart defense lawyers run circles around the poorly trained and often underpaid government lawyers.
The average person who develops the habit of being action-oriented and getting important tasks completed quickly will run circles around a genius who talks a lot and makes wonderful plans but accomplishes little.
He said the Iranian negotiators were highly-skilled people who would run circles around American officials.
But it's equally true that a long-focus doublet objective made with modern glass can run circles around the color performance of yester-year's two-element achromatic refractors.
While in the movie, Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) run circles around each other for two decades, trying to avoid yet wanting to be with each other, life doesn't work that way.