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See also: run off, run off with, and run-off


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Alternative forms[edit]


run +‎ off, from the verb phrase.


  • (file)


runoff (countable and uncountable, plural runoffs)

  1. That portion of precipitation or irrigation on an area which does not infiltrate or evaporate, but instead is discharged from the area.
    • 1994, Ruth Patrick, Rivers of the United States, Estuaries, page 138:
      The next series of high tides or large waves will tend to rebuild the berm and redam the stream. Ultimately, increased runoff due to fall or winter rains will raise the stream level to the point where it breaks through.
  2. Dissolved chemicals, etc, included in such water.
    The runoff of nitrates is poisoning the lake.
  3. (sports) A second or further round of a competition, after other competitors (often all but the last two) have been eliminated.
  4. (politics) A second or further round of an indecisive election, after other candidates (often all but the last two) have been eliminated.
    There will now be a runoff as neither front runner received more than 50% of the vote.
    • 2012 April 23, Angelique Chrisafis, “François Hollande on top but far right scores record result in French election”, in The Guardian[1]:
      It is one of the left's best ever results and will raise momentum for next month's final runoff where only the two candidates will compete against each other.
    • 2022 April 21, Michael Crowley, “U.S. Braces for Potential French Election Shockwave”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN:
      Mr. Macron was unable to command more than a small plurality of support against several opponents in the first round of voting on April 10. Ms. Le Pen, who finished second, is his opponent in the runoff election on Sunday.

Derived terms[edit]