run circles around

run circles around (someone)

1. To move much faster than someone else. I'm sure you could run circles around me at this stage; I'm so out of shape!
2. To greatly outclass or outperform someone in some activity. Her presentation on the way molecules bind together was so polished and well researched—she absolutely ran circles around the other students. The reigning champions are running circles around their fatigued opponents as we head into the fourth quarter.
See also: around, circle, run

run circles around someone

 and run rings around someone
Fig. to outrun or outdo someone. (Alludes to someone who runs fast enough to run in circles around a competitor and still win the race.) John is a much better racer than Mary. He can run circles around her. Mary can run rings around Sally.
See also: around, circle, run

run circles/rings around, to

To defeat decisively in a contest; to outdo. The implication here is that a runner moving in circles can still beat another running in a straight line. The term began to appear in print in the 1890s. “He could run rings round us in everything,” wrote G. Parker in the Westminster Gazette (1894).
See also: circle, ring, run
References in periodicals archive ?
KIRK BROADFOOT was left seeing stars twice in a week after being knocked unconscious last Wednesday - then being forced to watch Celtic run circles around his team-mates three days later.
We're not going to let anybody run circles around us,' he said.
I just hope that he learns the ins and outs of the BOC so that these so called corrupt officials won't simply run circles around him," Sen.
Combined with beefier brakes and leading-edge chassis and suspension, the new fiberglass Chevy was able to run circles around previous models.
But a human, equipped with a computer, will still run circles around them because of the sheer, currently irreproducible complexity of the human brain.
Kept like inventory in muddy fields, row after row of tethered dogs bark, howl and run circles around dilapidated wooden"houses" or plastic barrels their only shelter from the elements.
This could open the door for lesser-known cryptocurrencies to run circles around this recent darling in 2018.
But this is the Youtube generation we are talking about and they will find their way around the Internet and run circles around us if given a chance.
It wasn't as if the Clippers were complaining, even after watching Durant and the Warriors run circles around them during a 120-75 beat-down at Oracle Arena.
Rhino team leader at Knowsley Safari, Jason Doherty, says: "Nomvula is a bundle of energy and continues to run circles around patient mum Meru.
"We're nimble enough to run circles around the big agencies while delivering great creative in a timely, cost-effective manner," said president and CEO Brian Kristofek.
Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., as stating President Barack Obama has "run circles around this Congress since John Boehner's been speaker," adding that his constituents wanted to see Boehner replaced.
Here's the problem: His sex drive could run circles around mine.