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See also: Laufen and Läufen



From Old High German hloufan, loufan, from Proto-Germanic *hlaupaną. Akin to Gothic 𐌿𐍃𐌷𐌻𐌰𐌿𐍀𐌰𐌽 (ushláupan, jump up), Old Norse hlaupa (whence Danish løbe, Swedish löpa), Dutch lopen, Old Saxon hlōpan, English leap and lope. Non-Germanic cognates include Slovak klusať (to trot), Slovene kljusati (to amble).


  • IPA(key): /ˈlaʊ̯fən/, [ˈlaʊ̯fn̩], [ˈlaʊ̯fɱ̩]
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: lau‧fen


laufen (class 7 strong, third-person singular simple present läuft, past tense lief, past participle gelaufen, past subjunctive liefe, auxiliary sein)

  1. (transitive or intransitive) to walk; to jog; to run (to move on foot; either at a normal or an increased speed)
    Wir können mit dem Bus fahren oder laufen.
    We could take the bus or walk.
    Lasst uns etwas schneller laufen.
    Let's move a little faster.
    Joggen bedeutet entspannter aber auch bewusster zu laufen.
    Jogging means to run in a less exhausting but more conscious way.
  2. (intransitive, of a fluid) to flow; to leak; to run
  3. (intransitive, of an event) to be in progress; to run
    Das Projekt läuft erfolgreich.
    The project is progressing successfully.
  4. (intransitive, computing) to run, to execute (a program)
    Das Programm läuft einwandfrei.The program runs flawlessly.
  5. (intransitive, of an event) to be in order; to work; to function
    Alles läuft wie es soll.Everything works just fine.
  6. (intransitive, of time) to pass; to flow

Usage notes[edit]

  • Some dictionaries define laufen as specifically meaning a medium pace between gehen (to walk) and rennen (to run). This was the original sense in Middle High German, which does remain common; the restriction to it, however, is contrary to long-established usage. Rather, laufen is neutral with regard to pace in modern German.


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