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do a runner
To flee or quickly leave a place, usually so as to get out of paying for something or to avoid trouble or the law. Primarily heard in UK. The teenagers did a runner as soon as the cab stopped, leaving the driver to foot the bill. The young man, unintelligible with drink, did a runner when the police went up to question him.
The person or thing most likely to be awarded something. I hear that movie is the front runner for the Best Picture Oscar. Amanda's the front runner for the position—she's overqualified, honestly, and has a great attitude.
the person or thing thought most likely to win or succeed. The press found out some juicy secrets about the front-runner and made them all public. Who is the front-runner in the race to be governor?
do a runnerBRITISH, INFORMAL
COMMON If someone does a runner, they leave a place in a hurry, especially in order to escape trouble or to avoid paying for something. At this point, the accountant did a runner — with all my money.
do a runnerleave hastily, especially to avoid paying for something or to escape from somewhere. British informal
1997 Iain Sinclair Lights Out For The Territory Nobody seemed to know if the absentee landlord had done a runner.
do a ˈrunner(British English, informal) leave or escape from somebody/a place, often after doing something wrong: He stole all the money in the office and did a runner. ♢ ‘What happened to his wife?’ ‘She did a runner. Nobody’s seen her for months.’
n. the leader; the person or thing most likely to win. The press found out some juicy secrets about the front runner and made them all public.
1. n. a messenger. I work as a runner in the financial district.
2. n. a person who transports contraband. (Underworld.) The runners got away, but we have the goods.
Someone who is expected to win. The term comes from horse racing and began to be used figuratively in the first half of the 1900s. Its most prominent context is political, referring to a candidate who leads his or her opponents in an election, but it also occurs in other kinds of contest. Thus Wilbur Smith used it in Gold Mine (1970): “He had joined C.R.C. a mere twelve years previously and now he was the front runner.”