What does ‘run around with’ mean?
The idiom run around with means to spend time with or be in the company of someone regularly, often implying a close or intimate relationship.
run around with is a versatile idiom in American English that has multiple meanings and uses. It can describe someone's close relationships or affiliations, their engagement in various activities, the act of carrying or possessing something, or even their unfaithful behavior in a romantic relationship. The figurative meaning of the idiom adds depth and nuance to everyday conversations. Let's explore each of these meanings in more detail.
When we say someone "runs around with" a particular group of people, we are implying that they spend time with or associate themselves closely with that group. This idiom suggests a close relationship or affiliation. For example, if we say "He runs around with a bad crowd," it means he spends time with people who have a negative influence on him. Similarly, if someone "runs around with the wrong crowd," it means they associate themselves with people who may lead them astray.
Another meaning of run around with relates to someone who is engaged in various activities or tasks at the same time, often in a haphazard or disorganized manner. This usage suggests a lack of focus or purpose. For instance, if someone says "I have been running around with a million things to do," it means they have been busy and overwhelmed with numerous tasks or responsibilities. They may feel like they are constantly on the move, trying to accomplish everything at once.
In a different context, run around with can express the act of carrying or possessing something while in motion. It implies that the person is physically holding or carrying the item as they move around. For example, someone may say "She runs around with a gun" to indicate that she carries a gun with her at all times. Similarly, if someone says "I run around with a secret," it means they are in possession of a secret that they carry with them.
Furthermore, run around with can also be used to describe someone's unfaithful behavior in a romantic relationship. It suggests that the person is engaging in relationships or encounters with other individuals while being committed to their partner. For instance, if someone says "He has been running around with other women," it means he has been involved with other women while in a committed relationship. This usage implies deceitfulness or infidelity.
Overall, run around with is an idiom that can imply close relationships or affiliations, engagement in various activities, carrying or possessing something, or even unfaithful behavior in a romantic relationship. Its versatility and figurative meaning make it a valuable addition to everyday conversations. So, next time you hear someone using run around with, pay attention to the context to fully grasp its intended meaning.
Run around, another related idiom, is often used to describe someone who is constantly moving from one place to another without a clear purpose or destination. It suggests a lack of focus or direction. For example, if someone says "He has been running around all day," it means that he has been busy moving from place to place without achieving anything significant.
Similarly, run around can also be used to describe someone who is evasive or untruthful. It suggests that the person is avoiding providing a straight answer or trying to deceive others. For instance, if someone says "He always runs around when asked about his whereabouts," it means that he often avoids giving a direct answer or tries to mislead others when asked about where he has been.
Another related idiom is run around after. This idiom is commonly used to describe someone who is constantly chasing after someone or something, usually with little or no success. It implies a sense of frustration, desperation, or even futility. For example, if someone says "He is always running around after that girl," it means he is constantly trying to pursue or win the attention of the girl, despite the lack of reciprocation.
Run around after can also be used more broadly to describe someone who is constantly attending to the needs or demands of others without taking care of their own well-being. It suggests a sense of selflessness or being taken for granted. For instance, if someone says "She is always running around after her children," it means she is constantly busy taking care of her children's needs and putting their well-being before her own.
Finally, the idiom run about is another related phrase that can be used interchangeably with run around. It is often used to describe someone who is constantly moving from one place to another without a specific purpose or direction. This usage suggests a sense of aimlessness or restlessness. For example, if someone says "They were running about the city all day," it means they were moving around the city without any particular reason or objective.
Similarly, run about can also be used to describe someone who is constantly busy or occupied with numerous tasks or responsibilities. It suggests a lack of time or opportunity for rest or relaxation. For instance, if someone says "I have been running about all week trying to catch up with work," it means they have been extremely busy and occupied with work-related tasks throughout the week.
The idioms run around, run around after, and run about share similarities with run around with in terms of depicting movement, lack of focus, or engagement in various activities. Each of these idioms adds depth and nuance to everyday conversations, allowing for more precise and vivid descriptions of people, their behavior, or their circumstances. By understanding the different meanings and uses of these idioms, we can enhance our communication skills and better convey our thoughts and ideas in a friendly, informal, and concise manner.
Examples of how the idiom "run around with" can be used in a sentence:
- She always runs around with a group of adventurous friends.
- He used to run around with a bad crowd, but now he has turned his life around.
- My sister runs around with a popular musician.