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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun running:


The word running is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

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Definition of the noun running

What does running mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: runnings

  1. (American football) a play in which a player attempts to carry the ball through or past the opposing team
    • example: the coach put great emphasis on running
    • domain: American football / American football game
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonyms of running: run / running game / running play
    • more generic term: football play = a play by the offensive team
    • more specific terms:
      • draw play / draw = the quarterback moves back as if to pass and then hands the ball to the fullback who is running toward the line of scrimmage
      • end run / sweep = an attempt to advance the ball by running around the end of the line
      • return = the act of running back the ball after a kickoff or punt or interception or fumble
      • reverse = a running play in which a back running in one direction hands the ball to a back running in the opposite direction
      • rushing / rush = an attempt to advance the ball by running into the line
  2. the act of running; traveling on foot at a fast pace
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonym of running: run
    • more generic words: locomotion / travel = self-propelled movement
    • more specific words: sprint / dash = a quick run
  3. the state of being in operation
    • example: a running engine
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • more generic word: operation = the state of being in effect or being operative
  4. the act of administering or being in charge of something
    • example: he has responsibility for the running of two companies at the same time
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • more generic words: administration / disposal = a method of tending to or managing the affairs of a some group of people
    • more specific word: administrivia = the tiresome but essential details that must be taken care of and tasks that must be performed in running an organization
  5. the act of participating in an athletic competition involving running on a track
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonym of running: track
    • more generic term: track and field = participating in athletic sports performed on a running track or on the field associated with it
    • part of: track meet = a track and field competition between two or more teams

Alternative definition of the noun running


  1. The action of the verb 'to run'.
  2. The activity of running as a form of exercise, as a sport, or for any other reason

Specialised definition of the noun running

Glossary of sports

the locomotor pattern in which weight is transferred from one leg to the other. There is a period of flight between toe-off of which the rear leg and touch down of the forward leg (Mark H. Anshel. 1991. Dictionary of the Sport and Exercise Sciences. Human Kinetics Books Champaign, Illinois)

rapid movement on foot, with long strides and both feet momentarily off the ground (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

the sport or exercise of running (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

in contrast to walking, the mode of human locomotion where the two feet never touch the ground at the same time. In callisthenics running is one of the five fundamental forms of movement. Running is a quick, bouncy, and swinging stepping movement, where the arms are swung alongside the body in a rhythmical motion and the feet are placed on the toes and roll off the heel. As a competitive sport running stands in the foreground of track and field (short-, middle-, long-distance, marathon, relay running). Running is the most important means for general organ training (increasing physical loading capacity of the motor system, heart, circulatory and respiratory system) and thereby one of the most effective exercises in training and recreational sport (jogging) for the development of endurance, speed, strength, and agility. (Herbert Haag & Gerald Haag. 2003. Dictionary. Sport, Physical Education, Sport Science. Kiel, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaften)

Definition of the adjective running

What does running mean as an attribute of a noun?

adjective - degrees: more running / most running

  1. (of fluids) moving or issuing in a stream
  2. continually repeated over a period of time
    • example: a running joke among us
    • adjective position: attributive adjective (it occurs before the noun)
    • similar: continual
  3. of advancing the ball by running
    • example: the team's running plays worked better than its pass plays
    • adjective position: attributive adjective (it occurs before the noun)
    • domain: football / football game
    • antonym: passing
  4. executed or initiated by running
    • examples: running plays worked better than pass plays | took a running jump | a running start
    • adjective position: attributive adjective (it occurs before the noun)
    • antonym: standing
  5. measured lengthwise
    • example: cost of lumber per running foot
    • adjective position: attributive adjective (it occurs before the noun)
    • synonym of running: linear
    • similar: lengthways / lengthwise
  6. (of e.g. a machine) performing or capable of performing

Alternative definition of the adjective running


  1. That which runs or run.

Definition of the adverb running

What does running mean as an attribute of something other than a noun?


  1. [context: informal] consecutively; in a row


  1. "Running" is a 1979 drama/sports film directed by Steven Hilliard Stern. It is about the fictional American marathon runner and Olympics hopeful Michael Andropolis and his struggle to compete in the Olympic Games. It stars Michael Douglas and Susan Anspach.
  2. Running: This heartwarming youth drama tells the story of Dae Gu, a young man who had to give up sports due to his painful past but discovers a passion for running, as well as friendship and love in his new acquaintances.


  1. "Running" is a synthpop song written by Tony Kanal and Gwen Stefani for No Doubt's fourth studio album Rock Steady and was released worldwide as the album's fourth and final single on July 1, 2003. The song was also used on the last episode of the TV series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch in 2003.
  2. "Running" is a song by Hungarian American singer András Kállay-Saunders. It was chosen to represent Hungary at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Denmark.
  3. "Running" is the debut single by English singer and songwriter Jessie Ware from her debut studio album, Devotion. The song was released in the United Kingdom as a digital download on 24 February 2012. The drum loop used in the chorus of the song was based on Prince's "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker". The single features a particularly popular remix of the song by Disclosure, which was later featured as a bonus track in the deluxe edition of their 2013 debut studio album Settle.
  4. "Running" is the lead single by alternative rock band Evermore, taken from their second studio album, Real Life. It was written by backing vocalist and drummer, Dann Hume, and his brother Jon. It was issued on 3 June, ahead of the album. It was co-produced by Jon with John Alagía. It peaked at No. 4 on their native RIANZ Singles Chart in New Zealand and No. 5 on their adopted country of Australia's ARIA Singles Chart.
  5. "Running" is the second studio album by the American country music/country rock group The Desert Rose Band. It was released September 6, 1988 via MCA/Curb. The album peaked at #26 on the Top Country Albums chart.
  6. "Running" is an album by the band Trapeze released only for the Germany market in 1979 and is also called Hold On that was released in 1978.
    • genre: Hard rock
    • released in (37 years ago)
  7. "Running" is a musical single of Information Society.
    • released in (30 years ago)
  8. "Running" is a composition.
  9. "Running" is a musical single of Tyrell Corp..
    • released in (26 years ago)
  10. "Running" is a composition, cataloged instance.
    • music and lyrics by Moby
  11. "Running" is a musical single of Blende.
    • released on


  1. Running is a single by the band InSoc originally released on the Creatures of Influence album in 1985. The single for Running was distributed to club DJs, and became a favorite all over clubs, particularly in the Latin clubs of New York City. The single was later remixed by Tommy Boy Records and the remix single was released and became even more of a club hit, eventually reaching #2 on the Dance/Club Airplay charts and becoming an enduring classic of the Freestyle genre. Tommy Boy Records signed Information Society in 1986 and their self-titled album soon followed, featuring a mix of the single. In 1988 Information Society's self-titled album was released and went platinum.
  2. Running is a TV Spot.

Phrases with Running

Phrases starting with the word Running:

  1. Running in
  2. Running dog
  3. Running gag
  4. Running Man
  5. Running Oak
  6. running pop
  7. running away
  8. running back
  9. Running Coua
  10. running game
  11. running hand
  12. running head
  13. Running iron
  14. Running Joke
  15. running knot
  16. running mate
  17. Running Nose

Phrases ending with the word Running:

  1. Drug Running
  2. Free Running
  3. Long-Running

View more phrases with the word Running in thesaurus!

Printed encyclopedias and other books with definitions for Running

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewRunning Encyclopedia (2002)

by Richard Benyo, Joe Henderson

Following the 2000 running, the organizers canceled the race because they were burned out after ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of American Drama (2015)

by Jackson R. Bryer, Mary C. Hartig

Work Author: August Wilson Set in 1969 in a Pittsburgh diner, Two Trains Running is one of Wilson's cycle of 10 plays, each set in a different decade of the 20th century and depicting the AfricanAmerican experience. Wilson looks ata ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Sports Films (2010)

by K Edgington, Thomas Erskine, James M. Welsh

RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes. An unsuccessful racehorse is conditioned to become a ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Running

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Photos about Running

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of man runner jogger running isolatedSmall photo of Young fitness woman running at morning tropical forest trailSmall photo of young sport woman running upstairs on city stairsSmall photo of fitness, sport, people, exercising and lifestyle concept - couple running upstairs on city stairsSmall photo of young fitness woman runner athlete running at roadSmall photo of Marathon running race people competing in fitness and healthy active lifestyle feet on roadSmall photo of healthy lifestyle young fitness woman running at seaside More...

Video language resources about Running

Click on an item to play that video:

View more videos about Running dog, Running Man, The Running, Drug Running, Free Running, Running Late, Running shoe, Front running, Running Start, Running Water, Up and Running, Hit the Ground Running, and Never change a running system.

See also the pronunciation examples of Running!

Sign language

The word "Running" in Sign Language

The gesture for running in sign language is most interesting and easy to learn and remember. Here's how to do it.

Quotes about Running

Where are we running?
Are we running away from the homeless people of the street?
Where are we running?
Are we running away from the rain
Where are we running?
Are we runnimg away from the cold wind? (Aldo Kraas)
more quotes about running...

Scrabble value of R1U1N1N1I1N1G2

The value of this 7-letter word is 8 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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Go to the usage examples of Running to see it in context!

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