AskDefine | Define runoff

Dictionary Definition



1 the occurrence of surplus liquid (as water) exceeding the limit or capacity [syn: overflow, overspill]
2 a final election to resolve an earlier election that did not produce a winner

User Contributed Dictionary

see run off


Alternative forms


run + off



  1. That portion of precipitation or irrigation on an area which does not infiltrate, but instead is discharged from the area.
  2. Dissolved chemicals, etc, included in such water.
    The runoff of nitrates is poisoning the lake.
  3. A second or further round of an indecisive election, after other candidates (often all but the last two) have been eliminated
    There will now be a runoff as neither front runner received more than 50% of the vote.

Derived terms


portion of precipitation or irrigation which does not infiltrate
dissolved chemicals, etc, included in such water
second or further round of an indecisive election

Extensive Definition

Run-off or runoff may refer to:
  • A type of insurance, where syndicators and underwriters go into liquidation
  • In hydrology, runoff is the combination of surface runoff and interflow. It also equivalent to quick flow
  • An alternative term in printing for bleed
  • Two-round system - a voting system used to elect a single winner, whereby only two candidates from the first round continue to the second round
  • Instant-runoff voting - an electoral system whereby voters rank the candidates in order of preference
  • Text formatting computer programs
    • RUNOFF, first computer type-setting program, on the CTSS operating system
    • Runoff (program), type-setting program on the Multics operating system

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

bout, by-election, caucus, closed primary, congressional election, contest, contested election, decathlon, defluxion, direct primary, discharge, double-header, doubles, drain, drainage, effluence, efflux, effluxion, effusion, election, event, exhalation, exhaust, flowoff, foursome, game, games of chance, general election, go, gush, mandatory primary, match, meet, nonpartisan primary, open primary, optional primary, outfall, outflow, outflowing, outpour, outpouring, partisan election, pentathlon, play, play-off, preference primary, presidential election, presidential preference primary, presidential primary, primary, primary election, race, referendum, runoff election, runoff primary, singles, sport, threesome, twosome
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