Not open for further replies.


would you please explain to me the meaning of this idiom with some
example ?

the idiom is " to give someone a run for thier money"

thanks in advance for your help.


Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Idiom: "A run for the money" or "A run for his money"

It's used in the sense of "having to earn his pay". It means the the individual in question will not have an easy time of it or not as easy a time of it as might otherwise have been assumed. In other words, winning the race is not assured.

"Fortunately for the tournament, two of Woods' main rivals have been in imperious form this season and they, along with some of the rising young stars, should ensure that the short-priced favourite gets a run for the money invested in him despite the prohibitive odds."

Altho it doesn't literally have anything to do with running, ocasionally the expression is used in connection with an actual foot race. (The origin of the phrase may have had a connection to running.)

"Daniel Martin gave Ronnie a Run for his Money this morning!"!.htm

The person who is being given "a run for the money" has to scrap to be sure of winning and can't take anything for granted.



Jul 26, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
Origin was the horse races.

When a horse lost a close race, the consolation statement was that at least the loser gave the winner a run for his money, ie. the prize money for winning the race.

It has been applied to many non-horse racing situations, including applying for a job or hostile corporate take-overs.

It is still the consolation loser's statement to save face.
Not open for further replies.