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At a run vs On the run

at a run—moving at a running pace:

  • Suddenly, there he was, at a run, hurrying my son to unpack the rifle and climb the mountain with him.

on the run—(predic.)—

1. running:

  • Although I am perfectly still, I find myself taking quick short breaths, as if I too am on the run.

2. (also: on the trot) busy moving from one task to another:

  • It was vacation, and I shouldn’t feel bad if I am not on the run every minute of the day.

3. (also: on the trot) running away from prison, the police, etc.:

  • He went to meet a Franc-Tireur who was on the run after killing several Germans.

4. (of troops) retreating; severely defeated:

  • They all believed that this first success should be fully exploited while the enemy was on the run.