Did someone say that you need to 'run like the wind," and you’re wondering what it means? In this article, we’ll take a look at the meaning, origin, examples, and more.
The phrase ‘run like the wind’ means to run very fast or move very quickly. While ‘run like the wind’ is an idiom, it’s also an example of a simile because it compares the speed at which a person is running to the speed at that the wind blows.
- 'Run like the wind' is a simile because it compares two unlike things.
- Similes often use 'like' or 'as' to provide this comparison.
- Metaphors make a comparison by saying that two unlike are the same thing.
If someone tells you that you 'run like the wind,' it means that you're very fast indeed! This is a very common idiom that you will hear used in everyday conversations.
The phrase 'like the wind' is used on its own to describe something that moves at high speed. Alternatively, comparing something to the wind in this way could mean that its mysterious, invisible, or unpredictable or that its changeable and moving freely.
It isn't precisely clear when the idiom 'run like the wind' first emerged, but the concept of describing someone's speed by comparing it to the wind is quite old.
We find evidence of this as far back as the Roman poet Virgil's Aeneid, which describes (through translation, of course) someone as moving "swifter than the winds." This concept is repeated in a number of later writings.
We find an early example of this phrase in print published in The Analectic Magazine from 1817:
"The crew were for getting rid of those visitors by force of arms; but the captain reasoned like the fox in the swarm of flies; and it was soon discovered, too, that, while the natives had learned to run like the wind over the sand, those who had not been accustomed to such a terra infirma could make scarely any head-way at all."
Another instance of the phrase appears in a poem published in The Universal Songster from 1826:
And now, with regard to the game,
Of what to prefer I will sing,--
First, the birds I will name;--
The turkies are strong on the wing;
But be not to your shooting confined,
A hen will much pleasure produce,
Sucking pigs can run like the wind,
And the best of all shots is a goose.
'Like the wind' appears to be even more common in print, historically, than 'run like the wind.' An example of the use of this phrase in order to describe the swiftness of something appears in the 1808 text Christian Baptism by William White:
"But Mr. E. denies this, he says it was mere sound that filled the house, a mere echo; but this is not true; it is not said, "a mighty wind-- a sound," filled the house; but the Holy Ghost; who, as a sound, like a might wind, he in his coming rushed like the wind for its swiftness, and sounded like a mighty wind that creates dread in those that hear its roar."
Going back much further, we also find a use of 'like the wind' in Homer's The Illiad:
"The second to his lord in love and fame,
In peace his friend, and partner of the war)
The winged coursers harness'd to the car:
Xanthus and Balius, of immortal breed,
Sprung from the wind, and like the wind in speed;
Whom the wing'd Harpys, swift Podarge, bore,
By Zephyr pregnant on the breezy shore."
How would 'run like the wind" be used in a sentence?
Let’s take a look at some examples:
What are some other idioms that have a similar meaning to 'run like the wind"?
Here are some options:
'Run like the wind' is a simile and an idiom that is used to describe someone moving very quickly.
Are you ready to learn more English phrases and expand your vocabulary? Be sure to check out our idioms blog for idioms, expressions, sayings, and more!
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