1. <zoology> Any animal which is unusually small, as compared with others of its kind; applied particulary to domestic animals.

2. <zoology> A variety of domestic pigeon, related to the barb and carrier.

3. A dwarf; also, a mean, despicable, boorish person; used opprobriously. "Before I buy a bargain of such runts, I'll buy a college for bears, and live among 'em." (Beau. & Fl)

4. The dead stump of a tree; also, the stem of a plant. "Neither young poles nor old runts are durable." (Holland)

Origin: Scot. Runt an old cow. Withered woman, a hardened stem or stalk, of a tree; cf. D. Rund a bullock, an ox or . Cf. Rother.

(01 Mar 1998)

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