Word of the Month: Run

David Zapatka

Reader Carmela Hopkins writes, “Every month I look for your column in the Splash. Have you considered an article on the word ‘run?’ You’re on a run. I mean roll.”

There are more definitions of this word than any word I have researched. Here are a few.

Run verb a. to go faster than a walk. b. to go without restraint. c. to go rapidly or hurriedly. d. to contend in a race.

Run noun a. an act or the action of running. b. continued rapid movement. c. a quickened gallop. d. a migration of fish. e. a score made in baseball by a runner reaching home plate safely. f. a ravel in a knitted fabric.

Run adjective a. being in a melted state. b. made from molten material.

Origin and Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin inutilis, from in- + utilis useful

First Known Use: Verb—before the 12th century; Noun—15th century; Adjective—1685

Etymology: Middle English ronnen, alteration of rinnen, intransitive verb (from Old English iernan, rinnan & Old Norse rinna) & of rennen, transitive verb, from Old Norse renna; akin to Old High German rinnan, intransitive verb, “to run,” Sanskrit rinati “he causes to flow” and probably to Latin rivus “stream”

Run used in a sentence:


Shivering, she began to run again on the trail.

He runs faster than anyone else on the team.

Taken aback by his anger, she watched him run a hand through his hair in an unusual sign of agitation.

When I called the dog, he came running.

Don’t expect me to come running every time you want something. I’m not your servant.


He goes for a six-mile run every evening.

She took the dogs out for a run.

Run used in media:


When Lula is inaugurated in January, South America will now largely be run by socialist governments.—The Editorial Board, WSJ, 31 Oct. 2022

The group is run by former stockbroker Edward Blum.—Greg Stohr, Fortune, 31 Oct. 2022


Beneath a brilliant sunset, Walpole’s top-seeded field hockey team prepares for its run at a 13th state title in the MIAA Division 1 statewide tournament.—Kat Cornetta, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Nov. 2022

However, as the public began to come around to the Falcons, their perfect ATS run ended in Week 7 against the Bengals.—Michael Arinze, Chicago Tribune, 1 Nov. 2022

Please submit any experiences you have had or any word you may like to share, along with your insights and comments, to [email protected].