Definition of runholder in English:



NZ, Australian
  • A person who owns or manages a sheep station or cattle station.

    ‘he was a soldier who became a wealthy runholder’
    • ‘Their house became a social centre for the runholders.’
    • ‘They were a good type of sheep for the runholders who depended on wool for their income.’
    • ‘Runholders had received collectively 58 per cent of the reformed pastoral estate as freehold.’
    • ‘If the price of wool should drop many of these runholders will be in serious financial difficulties.’
    • ‘These sturdy people are the fabric of any provincial town - runholders, small farmers, merchants and artisans.’
    • ‘They were not welcomed by their runholder neighbours at first - relationships were testy at best.’
    • ‘With help from the runholder and his packhorses, they went up the West Matukituki.’
    • ‘He was a southern runholder and a Liberal politician.’
    • ‘The church was built in memory of the pioneer runholders of the Mackenzie area.’
    • ‘He got all his numerical facts wrong and then blamed the runholders for giving him dodgy data.’


Mid 19th century: from run in the Australian sense ‘an extensive tract of land used for the raising of stock’.