Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. to flee. The children rang our doorbell and then ran off. They ran off as fast as they could.
2. to have diarrhea. He said he was running off all night. One of the children was running off and had to stay home from school.
3. [for a fluid] to drain away from a flat area. By noon, all the rainwater had run off the playground.
run off something
to drive or travel off something, such as rails, tracks, a road, etc. The train ran off its rails and piled up in a cornfield. We almost ran off the road during the storm.
run off (with someone)
to run away with someone, as in an elopement. Tom ran off with Ann. Tom and Ann ran off and got married.
run someone or something off (of) somethingand run someone or something off
to drive someone or something off something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Go out and run those dogs off the lawn. Go run off the dogs from the lawn.
run something off
1. to get rid of something, such as fat or energy, by running. The little boys are very excited. Send them outside to run it off. They need to run off their energy.
2. to duplicate something, using a mechanical duplicating machine. If the master copy is ready, I will run some other copies off. I'll run off some more copies.
to leave suddenly She punched me in the shoulder and ran off.
run somebody offalso run off somebody
to force someone to leave suddenly Barlow wouldn't leave, so she ran him off by threatening to call the police. Dad tried to run off some people who were camping on our land, but they wouldn't leave.
run off something
to score points quickly in a competition Iowa ran off 12 points and took the lead.
run off somethingalso run something off
to make electronic or print copies of something I'll just run these copies off before the meeting starts. He ran off 50 copies of the cassette and mailed them to agents.
1. Escape; see run away, def. 2.
2. Flow off, drain, as in By noon all the water had run off the driveway. [Early 1700s]
3. Print, duplicate, or copy, as in We ran off 200 copies of the budget. [Late 1800s]
4. Decide a contest or competition, as in The last two events will be run off on Tuesday. [Late 1800s]
5. Also, run someone out. Force or drive someone away, as in The security guard ran off the trespassers, or They ran him out of town. [Early 1700s]
6. Produce or perform quickly and easily, as in After years of practice, he could run off a sermon in a couple of hours. [Late 1600s]
1. To move away suddenly on foot; run away: The scarecrow frightened the approaching children and they ran off. He suddenly remembered something and ran off.
2. To cause someone or something to leave or run away from some place: The angry farmer ran us off his land. The security guard ran off the trespassers.
3. To create some copy or printout of a document: I ran off 200 copies of the report. Please run another copy off.
4. To flow off something; drain away from something: The rainwater runs off the roof into the gutter.
5. To decide a contest or competition from among the leading participants: The two candidates who received the highest votes in the special election will be running off for county commissioner.
6. To operate using something as a source of power: This CD player is portable and runs off batteries.
7. To leave a relationship or place to elope or have a romantic relationship: They ran off together and got married. I think she's going to run off with the guy she's been seeing secretly.
8. run off with To steal something; make off with something: The thief ran off with my book bag.
in. to have diarrhea. Jimmy has been running off since midnight.