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run into (third-person singular simple present runs into, present participle running into, simple past ran into, past participle run into)

  1. (intransitive but with prepositional object, literally) To enter by running.
    He ran into the building.
  2. (intransitive but with prepositional object) To collide with.
    He lost control of the vehicle and ran into a tree.
  3. (transitive and with prepositional object) To cause to collide with.
    He lost control of the vehicle and ran it into a tree.
  4. (intransitive but with prepositional object, by extension) To encounter or meet unexpectedly (literally or figuratively).
    I ran into your cousin the other day.
    Everything was going according to plan until we ran into the legal problems.
  5. (intransitive but with prepositional object, dated, of flowing water) To reach, to flow into (a body of water).
    • 1849, Charles Anthon, A System of Ancient and Mediæval Geography, for the Use of Schools and Colleges,[1] Harper & Brothers, Publishers (1871), page 58,
      Œāso, on the coast, at the northern extremity of the Pyrenees, where the River Magrăda, now Urumea, runs into the sea.
  6. (intransitive but with prepositional object) To blend into; to be followed by or adjacent to without there being a clear boundary.
    • 2003, Julie M. Crandall and Mary Helen Brown, "The Millennium Waltz: A Story in Three-Quarter Time", Chapter 18 in Robin Patric Clair (ed.), Expressions of Ethnography: Novel Approaches to Qualitative Methods, SUNY Press, →ISBN, page 189,
      Of course, a show might start at a certain time, and one must place bets at the sports book at the right time, but for the most part, day runs into night and night runs into day without notice or comment.
  7. (transitive and with prepositional object) To cause to blend into.
    You can use the paintbrush this way to run the colors into each other.
  8. To reach a large figure.
    By the end, the cost of the project ran into the millions of dollars.

Usage notesEdit

  • In all senses, any prepositional object pronoun must follow the word into, never precede it. In most intransitive senses, it is awkward or impossible for an adverb (or any other word or phrase) to appear between run and into.

Derived termsEdit