• IPA: /ˈɹʌnəweɪ/

runaway (plural runaways)

  1. A person or animal that runs away or has run away; a person, animal, or organization that escapes captivity or restrictions.
    Runaway children are vulnerable to criminal exploitation.
    • c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “A Midsommer Nights Dreame”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene ii]:
      Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?
  2. A vehicle (especially, a train) that is out of control.
  3. (usually attributive) An object or process that is out of control or out of equilibrium.
  4. The act of running away, especially of a horse or teams.
    • 2012, John H. White, Jr., Wet Britches and Muddy Boots (page 171)
      The drivers were generally boys […] They would stop the team when other boats passed and at locks while waiting for the water to rise or fall. They could also be useful in preventing or stopping runaways. Horses were easily startled and might bolt off the tow path or into the canal itself.
  5. An overwhelming victory.
    The home side won in a runaway.
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  1. Having run away; escaped; fugitive
    a runaway thief
    1. (of a horse or other animal) having escaped from the control of the rider or driver
      a runaway donkey
    2. Pertaining to or accomplished by running away or elope
      a runaway marriage
  2. Easily won, as a contest
    a runaway victory at the polls
  3. unchecked; rampant
    runaway prices
  4. (informal) desert or revolting against one's group, duty, expected conduct, or the like, especially to establish or join a rival group, change one's life drastically, etc.
    The runaway delegates nominated their own candidate.
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