Eat and Run

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Meaning of Idiom 'Eat and Run'

To eat and run means to eat a meal or a snack quickly and then immediately leave. 1,2


Often used in social meal-sharing situations by a person is in a hurry to leave, as in the phrase "I hate to eat and run, but…"


"I hate to eat and run but I have to be at the airport by eight o'clock."

"I'm not going to bother having dinner with Timothy anymore. He always eats and runs."

"I spent hours cooking dinner last night for Mason and myself only for him to show up late and then eat and run. I was so annoyed."

"I can have lunch with you but I'll have to eat and run so I can make it to my meeting on time."


Used since the first half of the 1900's 2

Run, in this idiom, is used to mean "depart quickly."

1. Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill's American Idioms Dictionary. Boston:
McGraw Hill, 2008.
2. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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