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- (idiomatic) A small, usually minor road used by a significant amount of traffic as a short cut or to avoid congestion on more major routes.
- 2007, John O'Farrell, I Have A Bream, Black Swan, →ISBN, page 43:
- This week Wykeham Street in Scarborough was named as the worst rat run in Britain. […] A ‘rat run’ sounds like some sort of charity jog by rodents keen to improve their image, but it is of course a side street that suffers from being heavily used by through-traffic as a short-cut.
- (to drive through residential streets to avoid congestion): divebomb