run across


run across
also, come across or come upon


  • meet someone by accident
  • cross something while running
  • experience a problem you’re not expecting.
  • find something you weren’t looking for
  • pay what you owe (come across)
  • how you project yourself (come across)

Example Sentences

  1. While cleaning my house, I ran across a book I’d lost.
  2. When I went on vacation, I ran across an old friend.
  3. I finally ran across the notes I was working on under a pile of paperwork.
  4. I came across an old photo of my mother while organizing the attic.
  5. She came across her prom dress while going through old boxes.
  6. He was worried he wouldn’t run across his lost notes while cleaning off his desk.
  7. Although she is typically plain, she comes across as a supermodel on Instagram.
  8. He was behind on his car payment, and the company asked him to come across the money.
  9. She doesn’t go to the restaurant by her house because she’s afraid she’ll run across her ex-boyfriend.
  10. Despite making a detailed itinerary before the trip, he ran across numerous problems.
  11. Her plan was risky, but she was positive she wouldn’t run across any issues. 
  12. It’s fate when two old flames run across one another unexpectedly. 
  13. It’s not likely we’ll run across any problems once we start the project.


Oliver Goldsmith was the first to use the closely related phrase (come upon) in his 1773 book, She Stoops to Conquer, he wrote:

“… you are to go sideways till you come upon Crack-Skull Common.”

Run across was first used by Mark Tain in his book Tramp Abroad, published in 1880.

“If I don’t run across you in Italy, you hunt me up in London.” 

Share your opinions1 Opinion

To ‘run across’ term may have initially come from a morning jogger who may come across unexpectedly another jogger already known to him.

‒ Ramesh Joshi October 11, 2021

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