Definition of runabout in US English:



  • A small car, motorboat, or light aircraft, especially one used for short trips.

    • ‘It's a meeting at great temperature between a city runabout and an army Jeep.’
    • ‘The Fiat 500 was introduced in 1957 and the production run went for 20 years, with 4 million of the little runabouts being built in that time.’
    • ‘We need functional, not flash vehicles cars that are fitted with speed limiters, not cars capable of ever higher speeds; runabouts, not four wheel drives.’
    • ‘The Smarts are built by Mercedes Benz and they are supposed to be town cars, little runabouts, and not designed for the wide open highways.’
    • ‘There are plenty of five-seaters around, in fact they are proving indispensable to most families having to cope with school runs, shopping trips, holidays and general runabouts.’
    • ‘It might just be that these retro runabouts really are something to feel good about.’
    • ‘If you want I'll get Harry to take you into the village in his runabout and you can take the bus home.’
    • ‘Whether you are looking for an economical city runabout or a first car, a good supermini makes increasingly sound sense for Irish motorists.’
    • ‘Described as ‘a joy to drive on any road’, the Focus is applauded for its ability to transform from city runabout to finely honed driving tool in the blink of an eye.’
    • ‘Designed as a city runabout, the two-door hatchback is shorter and narrower than a Maruti 800 and can just accommodate two adults and two children.’
    • ‘John and Gary reckoned their red runabout, with a top speed of 60 mph, was an advantage because the 180 mph sports cars were shooting past junctions.’
    • ‘Such advances have lengthened servicing intervals in many cases to two years or up to 19,000 miles on ordinary runabouts.’
    • ‘At prices from £29,000, it is not for those who only need a car as a runabout.’
    • ‘The eco-aware Smart car, the revolutionary runabout from DaimlerChrysler, is both fun to drive and friendly to the finances.’
    • ‘In Romania, for example, consumers prefer cheap runabouts produced by the domestic car manufacturer, Dacia, to the more expensive models made by Daewoo.’
    • ‘Produced by manufacturers that Detroit had in some cases taught to build cars, these fuel-efficient runabouts caught the Big Three by surprise, just as the oil crisis did.’
    • ‘The top speed of runabouts can vary greatly, up to 80 mph depending on the amount of money you spend on modifying them.’
    • ‘He had his own sports car, a company car, a runabout car and another one, presumably for times when the other three were not available.’
    • ‘It's more like a high-tech getaway vehicle than a family runabout.’
    • ‘Most fleets have taken the approach that a car which is generally used as an office runabout is an unnecessary expense.’