Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

have a run-in with (somebody/something)

have a run-in with somebodyhave a run-in with something
Meaning(s)
1) have an argument or get into trouble with somebody/something
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • have a run-in with the police
  • Analysis
    This expression can be used in a social or professional setting and implies a negative interaction with somebody, or some type of authority, such as the police. This usually takes the form of an argument or disagreement, but unlike other expressions in that category, such as 'at each other's throats,' this phrase is used for less serious confrontations. In social situations, you would use the term to describe an argument with a stranger or acquaintance rather than a friend. In a professional situation, it is not unusual to have a run-in with a customer, co-worker, or a manager/boss.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. John had a run-in with the police on his way to work yesterday. He got a ticket for speeding.
    2. I know I've had my run-ins with Rachel over the years, but I'm sad to hear she's moving to Australia. 
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. I'm really annoyed at the hours we're expected to work to meet this deadline. I even had a run-in with the boss about it!
    2. Person A: "That customer is so rude! He shouldn't speak to staff that way!" Person B: "I know, I've had a run-in with him about it before." 
  • Further Suggestions
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