Run Into

The idiom run into is a difficult one because it has at least six different meanings. It is also used as part of other idioms such as run into a brick wall and run into the ground.

Meaning Of Idiom ‘Run Into’

1. To meet someone or find them unexpectedly, by chance. I.E. to run into someone.

2. To encounter something, such as a difficulty. See also run against (first definition).

3. Collide with something.

4. Incur, usually expenses or debt.

5. Increase, keep going.

6. Follow one upon the other with no separation or interruption. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Examples of Use

These examples are given in order of the definitions above, one through six.

“You won’t believe who I ran into downtown last night. Mr. Healey, our old English teacher!”

“Until he ran into trouble with the law, Franklin was a successful businessman.”

“When I was young a ran into a glass door and broke my nose.”

“We’ve run into some unexpected expenses this quarter which will affect the employee bonuses.”

“The days ran into weeks as the castaways waited for rescue.”

“The excited reporters were eager for a scoop and their questions ran into one another, making it hard to hear what they were asking.”

Origin

This idiom has been used in one way or another since the 1300s. The first definition dates only from around 1900 but is very common.

More Idioms Starting with R

More Run Idioms

 

Sources   [ + ]

1. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.