run away

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run away (third-person singular simple present runs away, present participle running away, simple past ran away, past participle run away)

  1. To flee by running.
    The crowd had to run away from the burning structure with only the clothes on their backs.
  2. To leave home, or other place of residence, usually unannounced, or to make good on a threat, with such action usually performed by a child or juvenile.
    The little boy was unhappy about having to take a bath every day and decided to run away from home.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter II, in The Squire’s Daughter, New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, published 1919, OCLC 491297620:
      "I don't want to spoil any comparison you are going to make," said Jim, "but I was at Winchester and New College." ¶ "That will do," said Mackenzie. "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. Then I ran away and sold papers in the streets, and anything else that I could pick up a few coppers by—except steal. I never did that. []."
  3. (of a device or vehicle) To become a runaway.
    The train's brakes failed and it ran away.
    An autotrim failure can cause stabiliser trim to rapidly run away in the nose-up or nose-down direction.
    • 1944 May and June, “Notes and News: A Much Transformed Locomotive”, in Railway Magazine, page 186:
      The complete 1892 rebuilding, indeed, followed an accident in 1890, when No. 6 ran away down the Buckley branch, and got badly smashed up in a collision at Connah's Quay.


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