Definition of runaway in English:



  • 1A person who has run away, especially from their family or an institution.

    ‘a teenage runaway’
    ‘a charity for runaways’
    [as modifier] ‘runaway boys’
    • ‘They noted that many runaways were from dysfunctional families with little social support available and often times will search for a better life.’
    • ‘The mother of one of the runaway teenage Hampshire sweethearts has herself vanished, the Daily Echo can reveal.’
    • ‘Amanda is the teenage runaway, eking out a desperate existence on the margins of society, amidst the detritus of the contemporary Wasteland.’
    • ‘Some are in foster care, some are runaways, others are from low-income families.’
    • ‘As a teenage runaway, Leroy's writing talent was discovered by a competent therapist whose encouragement led him to publish.’
    • ‘He recreates the 1960s in this true-life tale of a teenage runaway's audacious trail of trickery.’
    • ‘It also showed that more than a third of young people had no help while away from home, while highlighting measures aimed at improving services for families affected by a runaway member.’
    • ‘The Children's Society is calling for all local councils to put into place guidance on young runaways, to provide safe emergency accommodation and to provide family mediation.’
    • ‘The contrast between runaways and filial daughters in family composition and financial conditions indicates a likelihood that the girls' motives for entering prostitution varied according to family conditions.’
    • ‘Strict rules for dealing with teenage runaways in Manchester are ready for launch - three years after a 15-year-old died on a freezing city street after taking heroin.’
    • ‘A teenage runaway finds herself on the road to perdition after she gets involved in crime.’
    • ‘Two teenage runaways who turned up sleeping rough in North Yorkshire have declared their love for each other.’
    • ‘The number of adults who desert their families is sharply increasing, while that of teenage runaways is steadily decreasing.’
    • ‘When not rolling along at five miles an hour, Alvin encounters a number of strangers, from a teenage runaway to a fellow Second World War veteran.’
    • ‘Status offense charges served not only as a legal justification to apprehend runaways and to discipline boys who refused to go to school, but also to give the police a means to impose an informal curfew.’
    • ‘Except for one mentally disabled girl, these girls did not differ from other runaways in family background or other factors.’
    • ‘When she realizes the hitch-hiking boy is a runaway who's been severely beaten, her caring for him brings into focus the future course of her life.’
    • ‘How ironic that in this family, the runaway in question is a parent, not some rebellious teenager.’
    • ‘In the eighth century BC there must have been lots of large villages in the Central Mediterranean populated by refugees and runaways.’
    • ‘These include a national network of refuges for young runaways, family mediation services to help families in crisis and child protection reform to improve protection for older children.’
    fugitive, escaper, escapee
    absconder, deserter
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  • 2[often as modifier] An animal or vehicle that is running out of control.

    ‘a runaway train’
    • ‘A typical question involves watching a runaway train carriage hurtling towards five people who will die unless you drop a heavy object in its path and derail it.’
    • ‘Four men were killed when a runaway rail wagon crashed into a group of workers on the West Coast Main Line at Tebay in Cumbria.’
    • ‘You'll laugh just as much at the elevator scene as you'll gasp at the runaway train sequence.’
    • ‘THE M5 in Gloucestershire was closed on Saturday afternoon because a runaway horse was galloping the wrong way down the southbound carriageway.’
    • ‘The soldiers had only just dismounted and stopped the runaway horse by the time he arrived on the scene, and the animal was still shuffling nervously.’
    • ‘In June 2003, a runaway train on the same line derailed in Commerce, destroying two homes and injuring 13 people.’
    • ‘In the 1830s and 40s railway mania charged across the country like a runaway train, and he was up at the front blowing the whistle.’
    • ‘As for the reason, she says she lost her leg as a child to a runaway horse and an overturned carriage.’
    • ‘Add in a deserted docks scene with a bunch of cowering, villainous longshoremen, a runaway train and the inexplicable appearance of bats.’
    • ‘A probe began today into the deaths of four railway workers killed by a runaway train wagon on the West Coast mainline in Cumbria.’
    • ‘He was replaced for ten episodes when he was injured saving two child actors from a runaway horse.’
    • ‘As one of the astronauts described it, it's like being on a runaway freight train.’
    • ‘He added the team investigating the Cumbria accident had been informed about it and other runaway train cases.’
    • ‘Though he's been talking about other people's albums with all the restraint of a runaway train, analysing his own work is a different proposition entirely.’
    • ‘In April 2002, she had to hide behind a tree to escape a runaway horse running towards her.’
    • ‘The tour bus had been hit on the side by the runaway vehicle, and a Mercedes Benz also took some of the impact.’
    • ‘They are mysteriously injured in the tunnel by a runaway police horse.’
    • ‘I was returning from high school one day and a runaway horse with a bridle on sped past a group of us into a farmer's yard, looking for a drink of water.’
    • ‘On a more mundane level, dealing with dangerous dogs and runaway horses was an important and recurring feature of police work.’
    • ‘He immediately took another mare in search of the runaway horse.’
    out of control, escaped, loose, on the loose
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    1. 2.1[as modifier]Denoting something happening or done very quickly, easily, or uncontrollably.
      ‘the runaway success of the book’
      • ‘These common influences create the problem of endogeneity or selection, which may explain the influence of social control on runaway risk.’
      • ‘Whether you prefer to use Blax or Bungees to create your ponies, they will add another element of control to runaway tresses.’
      • ‘Police launched a major operation to target the tearaways - and their project has been hailed a runaway success cutting crime and nuisance by up to 84 per cent.’
      • ‘The inability of the government and various state agencies to control runaway expenditure on infrastructure projects is shocking.’
      • ‘But the garden ornaments were a runaway success and are being sold at this year's major garden shows, including the BBC Gardeners' World Live show.’
      • ‘Riverdance, in its 11 th year, has proved a runaway success since it began as the interval act at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest.’
      • ‘All of this was based on tales he'd heard, and some of them were clearly situations that could not have happened in the Yukon, but they were a runaway success.’
      • ‘I can't see that being a runaway success, but stranger things have happened.’
      • ‘Think about why the SSIAs were introduced in the first place: to act as a cooler to control a runaway economy, to damp down inflation, and to encourage saving.’
      • ‘The campaign began in 1979, when runaway inflation engulfed the economy.’
      • ‘The stark and simple truth is that we need to re-assert public control on the runaway consumption of Ireland's main recreational drug.’
      • ‘What is it going to take to get the Government and the Opposition to work together to bring runaway crime under control?’
      • ‘Firstly, there is a chronic housing shortage which has been in part responsible for the runaway property price inflation of recent years.’
      • ‘The fund's argument in the case of Brazil and Russia was that if the currency was devalued, the result would be runaway inflation.’
      • ‘In the mid-1980s Medicare began looking to ‘managed care’ to help control its runaway expenditure.’
      • ‘This is why efforts since last year to control runaway growth have not succeeded.’
      • ‘His eyes closed as he held his breath, trying to regain control of his runaway thoughts.’
      • ‘Children's literature, too, is in resurgence in Scotland with a host of authors, the runaway success of the Itchy Coo series, and most recently the launch of BRAW.’
      • ‘Now comes the hard work - following through on his promises and bringing California's runaway deficit under control.’
      • ‘The Lula administration insists that the pension plan is necessary to control the runaway costs of the public sector.’
      rampant, out of control, uncontrolled, unchecked, unbridled, unsuppressed
      easy, effortless
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