This Word Can Be Used Over 645 Different Ways

The word ‘run’ has over 600 meanings, and that’s just in its verb form.

Many of us spend our days using the same four-letter word as a fun-yet-profane filler in our unchecked vocabulary, but it’s not every day that we stop to think about our forgotten three-letter powerhouses. Words like ‘run,’ ‘put,’ and ‘set’ don’t even seem eligible as topics for conversation, but examining them closer yields some pretty surprising results.

The word ‘run’ might bring to mind a lightning-fast athlete or a powerful set of legs sprinting down the sidewalk, but it should probably make us think of a strongman holding up stacks of heavy dictionaries. This tiny little word practically runs the English language, and we don’t even realize it.

In its verb form alone, ‘run’ has over 645 different meanings.

“HOLD UP- can you run that by me again?”


“Ok, that’s what I thought you said – but it seemed like you were just running with it.”

Nope. It’s true. If you don’t believe it, I’ll give you the run down.

“Well, I was about to go run a bath, but-“

No worries. It won’t take long to run through it.

“Listen, I just finished running a marathon so I at least need some rest first. I’ve pretty much run out of gas here.”

Geez. Not gonna run you over or anything, you don’t have to listen to all 645 verb forms.

“I know, but I think I left my computer running… or my phone.. yeah I left my phone running an update so I gotta go.”

Phones run on batteries. You just recharge them. It’s a run-of-the-mill concept these days.

“Ok, listen. If I don’t get home soon, my wife’s gonna run out on me. Dinner is at 6:00 and my time is running out.”

Well it’s not gonna put a run in her stocking or anything, it’ll only take a sec.  Besides, she’s not the one running the show.

“I think I’m running a fever.”

You’re pretty stubborn, aren’t you?

“Yeah, it runs in the family.”

Clearly. You should run for office.

“But I don’t know anything about politics.”

That’s ok, most politicians don’t either. You never know, you could be a home run.

“I doubt it. They’d probably run me up the flagpole. I’d run the risk of ruining my reputation.”

Why, do you run with the wrong crowd?

“No, I’m just no good at running the gauntlet. Media can be pretty harsh – they run all kinds of stories that attack you. I can’t handle stress like that. It gives me the runs.”

Ah, ok. Well, gotta run. Maybe another time.

“Wait – I guess you could tell me a few, if you want.”

Are you kidding?!  After all that?  Anyway it doesn’t matter.  We already had a dry run.

“So you’re saying our time has run its course?”

Nope just need to run an errand. You should go run a comb through your hair. Your nose is running, too. It’s gross. But don’t run any red lights on the way.  You better make a run for it before someone takes a sword and runs you through.  You’re pretty annoying.

“Stop giving me the run-around!!  Why are you running me into the ground?  Will you ever stop running your mouth?!”

You’ll find out in the long run.

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