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1. verb To hoist or raise something, especially a flag. A noun or pronoun can be used between "run" and "up." Make sure the flag does not touch the ground as you run it up in the mornings.
2. verb To accumulate a large bill or debt that one is obliged to pay. We ran up a huge bill staying in that luxury resort in Las Vegas, but Jake insisted on paying for it. Apparently, he ran up a lot of credit card debts that he couldn't pay off, so he slipped across the border to Canada.
3. verb To cause the value of something to increase. A noun or pronoun can be used between "run" and "up." News of the company doubling production of their very popular tablet device has run their shares up to record highs.
4. verb To run and stop in front of someone or something. I just saw the neighbor kid run up and ring our doorbell. She ran up to me and gave me a huge hug.
5. verb In sports, to continue adding to one's score despite an assured victory due to a large lead, a practice considered poor sportsmanship. They're already ahead by 30, and now they're just running up the score.
6. noun An increase, perhaps a rapid or sudden one. Typically hyphenated. Experts are attributing the run-up in price to a sudden surge in demand.
7. noun The period of time before an event or occurrence. Typically hyphenated. There was no shortage of predictions in the run-up to the election.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
run something up
1. Lit. to raise or hoist something, such as a flag. Harry ran the flag up the flagpole each morning. Will you please run up the flag today?
2. Fig. to cause something to go higher, such as the price of stocks or commodities. A rumor about higher earnings ran the price of the computer stocks up early in the afternoon. They ran up the price too high.
3. Fig. to accumulate indebtedness. I ran up a huge phone bill last month. Walter ran up a bar bill at the hotel that made his boss angry.
4. to stitch something together quickly. She's very clever. I'm sure she can run up a costume for you. The seamstress ran up a party dress in one afternoon.
run up (to someone or something)
to run as far as someone or something and stop; to run to the front of someone or something. I ran up to the mailman and said hello to him. I ran up and said hello.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Make or become greater or larger, as in That offer will run up the price of the stock. [Late 1500s]
2. Accumulate, as in She ran up huge bills at the florist. [First half of 1700s]
3. Sew rapidly, as in I can run up some new curtains for the kitchen. [Mid-1800s]
4. Raise a flag, as in Let's run up the flag in time for the holiday. This usage, originating in the navy about 1900, gave rise to the slangy phrase, Let's run it up the flagpole and see if anybody salutes, meaning, "Let's try this out." The latter originated about 1960 as advertising jargon.
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.
1. To cause some debt to accumulate: Don't run up such a big bill next time you go out to eat! He has been running a large debt up for months.
2. To increase some value: The craze for this company's stock will run up its price. The bidders ran the price up to $100.
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.
n. a movement upward in the value of one or more securities. (Securities markets.) The market’s had a good run-up in the past week.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.