Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
An evasive or diversionary action or maneuver around some obstacle or difficulty. An allusion to a play in American football, in which the carrier of the ball runs wide to evade the defensive line. Many wealthy citizens try to perform an end run around their country's tax laws by filtering their money in offshore accounts.
Evasive action, as in The new department head was making an end run around the old hands who opposed her appointment . This term comes from American football, where it denotes an offensive play in which the ball carrier runs around one end of the opposing team's line. [Mid-1900s]
an end runAMERICAN, INFORMAL
An end run is something that you do in order to avoid something. He's trying to do an end run around the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Note: This expression comes from American football where a player with the ball runs around a line of members of the other team.
An evasive maneuver, a diversion. The term, dating from about 1900, is a transfer from football, where it denotes a running play in which the ball carrier runs around the defensive end. It soon was transferred to other contexts. An editorial in the Boston Globe about allowing drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge had it: “. . . they now plan to include drilling in the budget bill, which cannot be filibustered. Senators should see this gimmick for the procedural end run it is, and reject it.” (Jan. 31, 2005).