Definition of runaway in English:


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

    ‘The number of adults who desert their families is sharply increasing, while that of teenage runaways is steadily decreasing.’
    • ‘How ironic that in this family, the runaway in question is a parent, not some rebellious teenager.’
    • ‘They noted that many runaways were from dysfunctional families with little social support available and often times will search for a better life.’
    • ‘These girls did not differ from other runaways in family background or other factors.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Two teenage runaways who turned up sleeping rough in North Yorkshire have declared their love for each other.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The mother of one of the runaway teenage Hampshire sweethearts has herself vanished, the Daily Echo can reveal.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Amanda is the teenage runaway, eking out a desperate existence on the margins of society, amidst the detritus of the contemporary Wasteland.’
    • ‘A teenage runaway finds herself on the road to perdition after she gets involved in crime.’
    • ‘In the eighth century BC there must have been lots of large villages in the Central Mediterranean populated by refugees and runaways.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some are in foster care, some are runaways, others are from low-income families.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    fugitive, escaper, escapee
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    1. 1.1often as modifier An animal or vehicle that is running out of control.
      ‘a runaway train’
      • ‘A probe began today into the deaths of four railway workers killed by a runaway train wagon on the West Coast mainline in Cumbria.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They are mysteriously injured in the tunnel by a runaway police horse.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘THE M5 in Gloucestershire was closed on Saturday afternoon because a runaway horse was galloping the wrong way down the southbound carriageway.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On a more mundane level, dealing with dangerous dogs and runaway horses was an important and recurring feature of police work.’
      • ‘As for the reason, she says she lost her leg as a child to a runaway horse and an overturned carriage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He added the team investigating the Cumbria accident had been informed about it and other runaway train cases.’
      • ‘As one of the astronauts described it, it's like being on a runaway freight train.’
      • ‘You'll laugh just as much at the elevator scene as you'll gasp at the runaway train sequence.’
      • ‘In June 2003, a runaway train on the same line derailed in Commerce, destroying two homes and injuring 13 people.’
      • ‘Add in a deserted docks scene with a bunch of cowering, villainous longshoremen, a runaway train and the inexplicable appearance of bats.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He immediately took another mare in search of the runaway horse.’
      • ‘He was replaced for ten episodes when he was injured saving two child actors from a runaway horse.’
      out of control, escaped, loose, on the loose
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    2. 1.2as modifier Denoting something happening or done quickly, easily, or uncontrollably.
      ‘the runaway success of the book’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Riverdance, in its 11 th year, has proved a runaway success since it began as the interval act at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The fund's argument in the case of Brazil and Russia was that if the currency was devalued, the result would be runaway inflation.’
      • ‘The campaign began in 1979, when runaway inflation engulfed the economy.’
      • ‘Firstly, there is a chronic housing shortage which has been in part responsible for the runaway property price inflation of recent years.’
      • ‘The stark and simple truth is that we need to re-assert public control on the runaway consumption of Ireland's main recreational drug.’
      • ‘Now comes the hard work - following through on his promises and bringing California's runaway deficit under control.’
      • ‘What is it going to take to get the Government and the Opposition to work together to bring runaway crime under control?’
      • ‘These common influences create the problem of endogeneity or selection, which may explain the influence of social control on runaway risk.’
      • ‘In the mid-1980s Medicare began looking to ‘managed care’ to help control its runaway expenditure.’
      • ‘The inability of the government and various state agencies to control runaway expenditure on infrastructure projects is shocking.’
      • ‘Whether you prefer to use Blax or Bungees to create your ponies, they will add another element of control to runaway tresses.’
      • ‘The Lula administration insists that the pension plan is necessary to control the runaway costs of the public sector.’
      • ‘His eyes closed as he held his breath, trying to regain control of his runaway thoughts.’
      • ‘This is why efforts since last year to control runaway growth have not succeeded.’
      • ‘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.’
      easy, effortless
      rampant, out of control, uncontrolled, unchecked, unbridled, unsuppressed
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/ˈrənəˌwā/ /ˈrənəˌweɪ/