Idioms and Expressions With Run

Man running in warm clothes

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The following idioms and expressions use the verb 'run'. Each idiom or expression has a definition and two example sentences to help to understand these common idiomatic expressions with "run." 

Dry Run

(noun) a trial of something, a rehearsal of something before it happens

I think we should make a few dry runs before we give the presentation.
Let's do just one more dry run before we give it a try!

In the Long Run

(prepositional phrase) eventually, over time

Many people find that they actually do want to have children in the long run.
In the long run, we'll be able to win the contract and keep his business.

Make a Run for It

(verb phrase) to run as quickly as you can through the rain or other bad weather, to try to escape

It's pouring done rain. Let's make a run for it and get to the car.
The thieves made a run for it, but the policemen were able to catch up and arrest them.

Make Someone's Blood Run Cold

(verb phrase) to frighten someone so badly they feel a chill of anticipation of the worst

Seeing her makes my blood run cold. I wish she would leave.
His blood will run cold if he hears that story.

Get off to a Running Start

(verb phrase) to start a project or event quickly and efficiently

If we do our research, we'll get off to a running start.
I think this semester has gotten off to a running start. 

Run Around in Circles

(verb phrase) waste time, not progress in what you want to do

It feels like we're just running around in circles.
It took a few days of running around in circles before I took care of everything.

Run a Fever

(verb phrase) have a temperature that is very high

We should go to the emergency room as she's running a fever.
I think I might be running a fever. Could you get a thermometer?

Run a Tight Ship

(verb phrase) manager very well and efficiently with everyone knowing their place

I like to run a tight ship, so get ready to work!
She runs a tight ship over at Buy More Stuff Inc. 

Run a Temperature

(verb phrase) have a slightly elevated temperature, not as severe as run a fever

The baby is running a temperature.
Use this thermometer to check if you're running a temperature. 

Run Around Like a Chicken With Its Head Cut Off

(verb phrase - idiomatic) go crazy, act without any sense

Stop running around like a chicken with its head cut off and tell me what happened!
She ran around like a chicken with its head cut off when she heard the bad news. 

Run for It

(verb phrase) try to escape

Run for it! The cops are coming!
He decided to make a run for it and sprinted to his car.

Run in the Family

(verb phrase) be a characteristic that is common in one's family

Musical talent runs in my family.
I think his ability with children runs in the family. 

Run Into a Stone Wall

(verb phrase) not be able to progress through a situation

We ran into a stone wall when we tried to get a building permit.
Don't ask for a raise now. You'll run into a stone wall. 

Run out of Gas

(verb phrase) not have any more gas in your car

We're going to run out of gas soon. We'd better stop.
He ran out of gas and had to walk three miles to the closest gas station. 

Run Someone Ragged

(verb phrase) make someone very tired because you push them to do too many things

Her son run her ragged when he was over the holidays.
She says her boss runs everyone ragged at her place of employment.

Run Something Up

(verb phrase) to charge something, to make a bill

Peter ran his clothes up on his Visa card.
He's run up quite the bill at the local tavern. 

Still Waters Run Deep

(idiomatic phrase) people who are calm are very wise

Just listen to him for a while. Still waters run deep.
Remember still waters run deep. It might take some time to figure out. 

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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "Idioms and Expressions With Run." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Beare, Kenneth. (2020, August 26). Idioms and Expressions With Run. Retrieved from Beare, Kenneth. "Idioms and Expressions With Run." ThoughtCo. (accessed December 4, 2022).