run·down | \ ˈrən-ˌdau̇n \

Definition of rundown 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a play in baseball in which a base runner who is caught off base is chased by two or more opposing players who throw the ball from one to another in an attempt to tag the runner out

2 : an item-by-item report or review : summary


\ ˈrən-ˈdau̇n \

Definition of run-down (Entry 2 of 3)

2 : completely unwound

3 : being in poor repair : dilapidated

run down


Definition of run down (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to collide with and knock down

b : to run against and cause to sink

2a : to chase to exhaustion or until captured

b : to trace the source of

c : to tag out (a base runner) between bases on a rundown

3 : disparage

intransitive verb

1 : to cease to operate because of the exhaustion of motive power the clock ran down

2 : to decline in physical condition or vigor

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Examples of rundown in a Sentence


They gave us a rundown on the main points of the news. a rundown of our public services He was caught in a rundown.


finally ran down the answer after hours of research constantly running down the city's cultural life won't do anything to improve it
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Here's a rundown on additional signings to the Kings summer squad so far, with most of the moves confirmed on — where else — Twitter. Michael Mcgough, sacbee, "With games a week away, who's joining Kings summer roster? A look at recent signings," 25 June 2018 So far, Shea Couleé provided a rundown on Crystal LaBeija and Tammie Brown educated us on We'wha. Rebecca Schiller, Billboard, "Watch Ginger Minj Give a Pride Month Herstory Lesson on Gladys Bentley," 14 June 2018 So for the record, here’s a rundown on some recent defense progress in Europe. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Winning on NATO," 13 June 2018 The third assist was credited on Rickard’s throw to second on Rob Refsnyder’s single that started a rundown on Carlos Gómez between third and home when Gómez slipped on the turf making a hard turn of the bag. Eduardo A. Encina,, "Orioles outfielder Joey Rickard records three outfield assists Saturday," 27 May 2018 Here's a rundown on the themes -- from brand new homes to remodeled historic homes, cabins to mansions with pizza ovens, places with stained glass windows to greenhouses -- along with an update on what houses sold for. Janet Eastman,, "On the market: Homes with a toasty heated floor (photos)," 21 Apr. 2018 Here's the rundown on typical poke base-layer ingredient options; nutrition facts are based on standard serving sizes at poke chain restaurants. Molly Kimball,, "How to build a great poke bowl: Mix and match for health," 3 Apr. 2018 Despite being 10th in the table, only six points separate Bournemouth and 17th place West Ham. Here's the rundown on Saturday's fixture., "Watford vs Bournemouth Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More," 30 Mar. 2018 Here’s the rundown on a handful of potentially game-changing food and beverage outposts scheduled to debut in Detroit this year. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's most eagerly awaited restaurant openings of 2018," 3 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And so, even though USA isn't in the World Cup this year, lines to get into these pubs can run down the block, the bar can reach capacity and a game-heavy day can bring in three different waves of fans. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "What it's like living through England's devastating World Cup loss at a British pub," 11 July 2018 About 70 private lawyers and 13 collection companies ran down other $210 million. James Mcnair,, "Mike DeWine contributors get big contracts from Ohio Attorney General's Office," 25 June 2018 Renfroe ran down Brandon Belt’s two-out drive to the gap but failed to haul it in as the ball caromed off his glove and Belt got to second base with a double. Kevin Acee,, "Padres notes: Margot back on top; Renfroe tumbles; Hedges returns," 24 June 2018 Shaking a fist in the air and or locking hands professorially behind his back in Wednesday's rally, AMLO ran down his long list of promises. Dudley Althaus, San Antonio Express-News, "Appealing to populists, Lopez Obrador on verge of winning Mexico’s presidency," 22 June 2018 In a rambling speech, the president also ran down a list of victories: The North Koreans had stopped all nuclear research. Katie Rogers, New York Times, "Is North Korea a Nuclear Threat or Not? The President Now Says It Is," 22 June 2018 The dog then runs down the dock, leaps, swims to a toy that’s suspended at the end of the pool, and grabs it—all under a stopwatch. Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "This Whippet Is One of the World's Great Athletes," 18 June 2018 Water ran down streets near the harbor, and a motorist had to be rescued from his car in front of the Boston Marriott Long Wharf hotel. Dave Epstein,, "Tidal flooding is expected to become more routine as sea levels rise," 16 June 2018 Jake Marisnick ran down a deep line drive in the left-center gap. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Astros pick up messy win over Rangers, clinch series," 10 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rundown.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rundown


1908, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1815, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1686, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near rundown


run down






Statistics for rundown

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rundown

The first known use of rundown was in 1686

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More Definitions for rundown



English Language Learners Definition of rundown

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a quick report about the main parts of something

: a gradual reduction in the size of a business, activity, etc.

baseball : a play in which a runner is chased by two or more opposing players who throw the ball to each other in an attempt to tag the runner out



English Language Learners Definition of run-down (Entry 2 of 2)

: in very bad condition because of age or lack of care

: in poor health or physical condition : worn-out or exhausted


\ ˈrən-ˈdau̇n \

Kids Definition of run-down

1 : in poor condition a run-down farm

2 : in poor health

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Comments on rundown

What made you want to look up rundown? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make amends

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