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1. Literally, to run haphazardly or in different directions in an area. We took the kids to the park so they could run around for a couple of hours.
2. Figuratively, to be exceptionally busy doing many different tasks or activities, especially in several different locations. I've been running around all afternoon getting things for Carol's party tonight. I can't wait for the weekend. I've had to run around all week getting little jobs done for my boss, and I'm exhausted!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. to run here and there. Why are you running around? Sit down and be quiet. Please stop running around. You are making me nervous.
2. to go here and there having meetings or doing errands. I've been running around all day, shopping for the party tonight. I am so tired of running around, carting children to various places.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Go about hurriedly here and there, as in I have been running around all day so I want to stay home tonight and relax. [Early 1900s]
2. Also, run around with. Associate or consort with socially, as in At college she began to run around with a very liberal group. [Late 1800s]
3. Be sexually unfaithful, as in She caught him running around just once too often and finally sued for divorce. [Early 1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
run aroundor run round
1. To run in a space in many different directions: The kids ran around in the park while we relaxed.
2. To be very busy doing something, especially when moving from place to place in order to do it: I've been running around getting ready for the party.
3. run around after To try hurriedly to obtain or catch something or someone: How long have you been running around after that pair of shoes?
4. run around with To associate or engage in activities with someone or something: I don't like the people you've been running around with—they're a bad influence!
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.