End run

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End run is an American idiom. We will examine the meaning of the idiomatic phrase end run, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

An end run is an evasive maneuver, a strategy that goes around an obstacle–especially a person in authority–who thwarts one’s goal. The phrase is usually expressed as doing an end run or making an end run. The idiom is derived from a certain type of play in American football. In football, an end run is a play in which the ball carrier runs around the end of the line of defense instead of plowing through the middle of the line of defense. The literal use of the term end run, to mean a certain type of play in football, first appeared around the turn of the twentieth century. The idiom end run became popular mid-century. The preferred spelling, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is two, separate words. However, the hyphenated version is often seen and is acceptable.


She said she didn’t know how it was legal for the district to make an end-run around these local laws, but that it certainly wasn’t fair — particularly for those on student visas who are barred from taking a job elsewhere. (The Mountain View Voice)

Such a decision would have required an end run around the face of the Mets organization, Brodie Van Wagenen. (The New York Daily News)

Baltimore’s officials were successful in this end run around HUD policy because of their appeals to “choice,” insisting that the policy as HUD originally envisioned would be an overreach into the lives of applicants which would force them to live in areas of the city that they did not prefer. (The Palm Beach Post)

Iceland’s Naming Committee has ruled on a new batch of names, and it seems one submission tried to make an end-run around a previous ruling. (Reykjavik Grapevine)