Language Tips

to run with short quick steps

© Brand X Pictures \ fStop Images - Patrick Strattner
Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items.

This set of language tips explores the words and phrases we use to describe movement. This week’s tip looks at verbs that mean to run with short quick steps:

scamper to run with small light steps, like a child or a small animal:

  • The children scampered off to the village hall for their free tea.
  • She could hear children scampering in the room above.

scurry to move with small quick steps, especially because you are in a hurry or afraid:

  • People were scurrying around like ants.
  • The gunmen fired on the crowd as panicked shoppers scurried for safety.

scuttle to run somewhere with short quick steps:

  • He scuttled off to get a drink.
  • We waited for a break in the traffic and scuttled across the road.

patter to walk or run with short quiet steps:

  • I heard footsteps pattering behind me.

skitter to run quickly and lightly:

  • Her children skittered up and down the supermarket aisles.

All of these verbs are often used to talk about the movements of animals.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘to run‘.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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