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Models on a runway
An airplane taking off from a runway

run +‎ way.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɹʌnweɪ/
  • IPA(key): /ˈɹʌnˌweɪ/, /ˈɹən-/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: run‧way


runway (plural runways)

  1. A defined, narrow section of land or an artificial structure used for access.
    • 1894 December 10, Frank H[enry] Symons, Apparatus for Reloading Coal[1], US Patent 546,790, page 1:
      The invention comprehends an inclined runway or cable connected at its upper end in any desirable way to a point adjacent the bin, pocket, or chute to which the coal is to be delivered and connected at its lower end to a post or other point of attachment located at the side of the pile of coal. [] The coal tub or carrier by means of which the coal is conveyed is suspended from and adapted to run along the runway or cable, []
    • 1919 June 2, “The Defense. [Testimony of John J. Sullivan.]”, in Court of Appeals of the State of New York: ANGELO PALERMO, as Administrator of the Goods, Chattels and Credits of Michele Palermo, Deceased, Plaintiff-Respondent, against THE CITY OF NEW YORK, Impleaded with CENTRAL VERMONT RAILWAY COMPANY, Defendant-Appellant: Case on Appeal, New York, N.Y.: Appeal Printing Company, [], paragraph 311, page 104:
      Q. Was the fence all blocked by the freight? [] A. No, there was a runway left, so they could drive trucks through there inside the space.
    • 1921 May, P. P. Avery, “Nessmuck’s”, in Forest and Stream, volume XCI, number 5, New York, N.Y.: Forest and Stream Publishing Co., OCLC 7405556, page 210:
      A TAKE-DOWN CANOE RUNWAY. A very handy adjunct to the camp of a canoeist is a runway that can be taken apart and transported easily.
  2. The usual path taken by deer or other wild animals, such as from a forest to a water source.
    • 1846 October, Alfred B[illings] Street, “A Day’s Hunting about the Mongaup”, in George R[ex] Graham, editor, Graham’s American Monthly Magazine of Literature and Art, volume XXIX, number 4, Philadelphia, Pa.: George R. Graham & Co., [], OCLC 1017756595, page 190:
      There is a water-break formed by a small terrace of rock in mid-stream, and purling with a hollow, delicious monotone—an island of pebbles is above, with here and there smaller ones near the "forks." This pebbly island is directly on the runway, or customary trail which the hunted deer pursues through the forests. [] I fix my eyes steadily upon the runway—straining them almost from their sockets—still no deer.
    • 1874, “Fifth Annual Report of the Commissioners of Fisheries of the State of New Jersey for the Year 1874”, in Documents of the Ninety-ninth Session of the Legislature of New Jersey, Thirty-first under the New Constitution (Document; no. 8), Camden, N.J.: John H. Jones, book and job printer, published 1875, OCLC 313426097, page 15:
      These streams have always been, and, of right ought to be, the runways for shad and salmon, when these fishes are seeking a spawning bed; []. The public at large, [] are entitled to have the full benefit of these runways free from any such permanent obstructions as will prevent the ready passage of fish up stream, or will destroy them uselessly on their return to the river and sea.
    • 1893 July–October, William Hubbell Fisher, “Investigations of the Burrows of the American Marmot. (Arctomys momax.)”, in The Journal of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History, volume XIV, number 2 & 3, Cincinnati, Oh.: Cincinnati Society of Natural History, [], OCLC 1554732, page 108:
      The runways rapidly narrow in both diameters, and as they reach that portion of the way which is substantially horizontal, they are of a size to allow an adult marmot to readily pass through.
    • 1922 November 25, A[rthur] M[urray] Chisholm, “A Thousand a Plate”, in Western Story Magazine, volume XXX, number 4, New York, N.Y.: Street & Smith Corporation, OCLC 11910542, chapter I, page 86, column 2:
      In the mornings hoar-frost lay thick upon the ground, and thin ice formed in currentless shallows and overlay the muskrat runways.
  3. A narrow walkway (often on a platform) extending from a stage on which people walk, especially one used by models during fashion shows.
    • 2009, Linda Hudson-Smith, chapter 1, in Romancing the Runway (Kimani Romance), Washington, D.C.: Kimani Press, →ISBN:
      He halfheartedly paid attention to the flurry of activity on the runway, until a thunderous round of applause suddenly broke out. He then sat up straight, giving his full attention to the striking, attention-grabbing model who'd just strolled onto the runway.
  4. (athletics) In javelin, long jump, and similar events: a short track along which athletes can accelerate themselves for their jumps or throws.
    • 1969, Virginia Parker; Robert [Emmett] Kennedy, Track and Field for Girls and Women (Saunders Physical Activities Series), Philadelphia, Pa.: W. B. Saunders, OCLC 906035558, page 84:
      Proper footwear is a must for javelin throwing. To some degree the surface of the runway will dictate the type of shoe.
    • 1984, Robert Fong Sing, The Dynamics of the Javelin Throw, Cherry Hill, N.J.: Reynolds Publishers, →ISBN, page 44:
      The main goal of the approach run is to attain the maximum controllable running speed on the runway immediately prior to the throw.
  5. (aviation) A section of land, usually paved, for airplanes to land on or take off from.
    • 1945, Robert Lee Scott Jr., Runway to the Sun, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner's Sons, OCLC 1372996, page 135:
      Down at the end of the field when ready for the take-off, I'd taxi the ship off the runway and tell him why I did that—"so as not to block incoming ships," and I'd tell him at the same time why the incoming ship was supposed to land in the first third of the field and why in the take-off we were going all the way to the end of the runway and not try to take off up the middle of the runway.
    • 1985, Mark Stephen Monmonier, “Glossary”, in Technological Transition in Cartography, Madison, Wis.; London: University of Wisconsin Press, →ISBN, page 267:
      Space Shuttle. A human-operated space vehicle launched by a rocket to orbit the Earth and then return to Earth and land undamaged on a runway like a conventional airplane.
    • 2016 March, Joseph Kanon, Leaving Berlin: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Washington Square Press, Simon & Schuster, →ISBN, page 313:
      They hurried across the waiting hall to the departure gates. Through the windows he could see the floodlights on the field, shining on the runways. Planes pulled up in rows at the gates, assembly-line style, workers swarming over them like ants even before they stopped.
  6. (slang) Hence, the number of months that a startup company can operate on its cash reserves.
    • 2014, Paul Paetz, “End Game”, in Disruption by Design: How to Create Products that Disrupt and Dominate Markets, Berkeley, Calif.: Apress, →ISBN, part III (The Last Mile), page 235:
      So, if you have $1.8M in the bank and monthly burn rate of $150,000, you have a runway of 12 months.
  7. A stream bed.


  • (walkway extending from a stage): catwalk



Derived terms[edit]


  • Czech: runway


Further reading[edit]




From English runway.


runway f

  1. runway (section for landing or take-off)


Further reading[edit]

  • runway in Kartotéka Novočeského lexikálního archivu
  • runway in Akademický slovník cizích slov, 1995, at