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a run on (something)
A large, sudden, and widespread demand for something. I'm sorry, we had a run on the chocolate cheesecake this afternoon, so I'm afraid we're out. There's always a run on bed linens when the college students move back into town for a new semester.
1. Literally, to continue to travel by running. I really didn't want to talk to her, so I pretended like I didn't see her and just ran on. Don't stop if you start getting a cramp—slow down, but keep running on.
2. To continue being presented, performed, or operated, especially longer than expected or desired. I know the presentation ran on a little too long, but I think we covered some valuable topics. The trial ran on for months as the prosecution brought forward hundreds of pieces of evidence and dozens of witness.
run on (something)
1. To be powered by some particular source of energy. Yeah, that remote runs on batteries. She must run on large quantitates of caffeine—how else would someone have that much energy at 9 AM?
2. To function or operate at some level of efficiency, speed, or productivity (represented by some figurative representation). The team had a rocky first half, but they appear to be running on all cylinders now. I've been working 14-hour days for the last two months, and I am seriously running on fumes at this point.
1. to continue running. I wanted to stop her and ask her something, but she just ran on. The joggers had a chance to stop and rest, but they just ran on.
2. to continue on for a long time. The lecture ran on and bored everyone to tears. How long is this symphony likely to run on?
1. Keep going, continue; also, remain in effect. For example, That murder trial has been running on for months, or How much longer can this debt be allowed to run on? [Late 1500s]
2. Talk at length; see go on, def. 5.
3. Continue a text without a break; see run in, def. 2.
1. To continue for a long time: That movie ran on too long.
2. To talk or complain excessively about something: He is always running on about his tax problems.
3. To continue a text without a formal break: The editor marked all of the instances where the text ran on incorrectly.
4. To operate using something as a source of power: This new car runs on electricity.