Definition of run something up in US English:

run something up

phrasal verb

  • 1Allow a debt or bill to accumulate quickly.

    ‘he ran up debts of $153,000’
    • ‘He had put enormous strain on their finances and ran up debts of £ 8,000 on her credit card.’
    • ‘He ran up $5,000 in debt on eight credit cards during his early years at the University of Miami.’
    • ‘He also suggested BT should use technology to detect obvious faults in the system before such enormous bills were run up.’
    • ‘Allen suffered a heart attack soon after he began working and ran up $31,000 in medical bills.’
    • ‘The soccer superstar has apparently run up a hotel bill of £432,875 since his move to Real Madrid.’
    • ‘As a result of mismanagement, debts of 110 million guilders had been run up and these were taken on by the Dutch state.’
    • ‘The bank has been compliant in allowing the football club to run up a level of debt it could never pay back from trading.’
    • ‘Miss Ward was also inspired after former staff at her beauty salon in the High Street, Penge, ran up a £500 phone bill.’
    • ‘More costs were run up the next morning when the plumber returned to fit a temporary stop-cock.’
    • ‘By his own admission, he ran up a £9,000 drinks bill in his room in the course of three weeks.’
    accumulate, accrue, amass, collect, gather, stockpile, heap up, rack up, build up, scrape together, hoard, lay in, lay up, garner
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Achieve a particular score in a game or match.
      ‘North Carolina ran up a 62–44 lead’
      • ‘Danny Hennesey and Bob Wrigglesworth hit a flurry of boundaries as Drax looked like running up a mammoth score against Heworth.’
      • ‘With the wind behind them they ran up a score of 2 - 14 to 0 - 3 at half time.’
      • ‘Imran Farhat and Taufeeq Umar played together 15 times and ran up 754 runs at an impressive average of 50.27 per innings.’
  • 2Make something quickly or hurriedly, especially a piece of clothing.

    ‘I'll run up a dress for you’
    • ‘From running designs up on sewing machines at the back of the shop, Stephen soon grew to be a large-scale manufacturer.’
    • ‘He was obsessed by her looks, to the extent of commissioning designers to run up body-hugging dresses for her.’
    • ‘Watching musicals as a child sparked her interest, and she had her mother run up a Sound of Music dress to wear in a talent show at school.’
    • ‘I'm actually planning on getting Betty to run her up some more suitable clothing.’
  • 3Raise a flag.

    • ‘They responded on Saturday, flying a journalist to the rock by helicopter, ripping down the Hellenic stripes and running up the star and crescent.’
    • ‘The bell at the Empire Hotel would ring at midday and a flag would be run up the pub's flag-pole to indicate the postponement of the match.’
    • ‘Someone's even gone to the effort of digging out a flag with the college logo on it and run it up to half mast.’
    • ‘The Americans put their emergency plans into operation, ran the American flag up over the house and settled down to wait things out.’
    • ‘It was the law of the sea that the warship responded in kind by running up her own colours and identity.’