What does ‘run’ mean?

The word ‘run‘ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to move faster than walking, manage or to flow.

For example:

  • The dog is running around the park. (move faster than walking)
  • I run my own bakery. (manage)
  • I’ll run you a bath. (flow)


Run is an irregular verb. The past tense is ran and the past participle is run.

phrasal verbs with run

Phrasal verbs with ‘run’ include:

  • run after
    meaning – chase
    example – My dog loves running after rabbits, he never catches them though.
  • run along
    meaning – go away, leave (an imperative)
    example – The puppies ran along when the cat hissed at them.
  • run around
    meaning – run all over the place or be busy doing many jobs
    example – The kids ran around the park for hours, they are fast asleep now.
  • run away
    meaning – leave your place of residence
    example – I used to run away from home and hide in the forest when I was a child.
  • run down
    meaning – hit someone with a vehicle or use up the power
    example – When my phone has completely run down, I’ll charge it.
  • run for
    meaning – compete to be elected for a position
    example – There are 8 people running for chief councillor. I don’t stand a chance.
  • run in with
    meaning – an argument
    example – I had a run in with the neighbour about my choice of music.
  • run into
    meaning – meet by accident or the cost of something
    example – I ran into Judy in town, she is pregnant with triplets.
  • run off
    meaning – escape on foot or make copies
    example – The kids knocked on Ms. Durant’s door and ran off.
  • run on
    meaning – be powered by
    example – I’m running on coffee today. I didn’t sleep much last night.
  • run out of
    meaning – have none left
    example – If you drink too much milk, we will run out before the weekend.
  • run over
    meaning – hit with a vehicle or exceed a time limit
    example – I ran over a baby bunny last night; I feel so guilty.
  • run through
    meaning – rehearse or review something
    example – We’ll run through scene 2 one more time then we’ll stop for today.
  • run to
    meaning – go to someone for help or advice
    example – I can’t keep running to my parents when I’m in debt. I need to learn how to manage my money.

picture examples

phrasal verbs with run

Let’s learn the meaning of the phrasal verbs that contain the verb ‘run’ in more detail and see some examples in use.

phrasal verbs with run - run after
phrasal verbs with run - run along
phrasal verbs with run - run around
phrasal verbs with run - run away
phrasal verbs with run - run down
phrasal verbs with run - run for
phrasal verbs beginning with R - run in with
phrasal verbs with run - run into
phrasal verbs with run - run off
phrasal verbs with run - run on
phrasal verbs with run - run out of
phrasal verbs with run - run over
phrasal verbs with run - run through
phrasal verbs with run - run to
phrasal verbs with run - run up
phrasal verbs with run - run with

You can download a table of phrasal verbs with run below.

Did you know that many idiomatic expressions (idioms) in English also contain a lot of verbs? Just like phrasal verbs, idioms are a major part of the English language (slang in particular). They are used constantly amongst native English speakers and are handy to know and understand.


Now you’ve learnt all the phrasal verbs with run, how about learning the idioms with run too?