1. (Science: zoology) Any animal which is unusually small, as compared with others of its kind; applied particulary to domestic animals.
2. (Science: 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.