run (up) a tab

run (up) a tab

To incur or accumulate charges that one must pay at a later time or date. It's a bit hypocritical for these politicians to be pushing legislation that raises the price of alcohol, while they're all there running up huge tabs at the parliament bar each week. Don't worry about the cost of anything while you're here; I'm running a tab with the hotel.
See also: run, tab
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

run a tab

to accumulate charges on a bill at a bar or tavern. They won't let me run a tab here. I have to pay for each drink as I order it.
See also: run, tab
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

run up a tab

If someone runs up a tab, they do things that cause them to owe money. The 62-year-old pop star has run up a tab of $2.1 million at Claridge's Hotel in Mayfair.
See also: run, tab, up
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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