run·​down | \ ˈrən-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce rundown (audio) \

Definition of rundown

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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


\ ˈrən-ˈdau̇n How to pronounce run-down (audio) \

Definition of run-down (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : being in poor repair : dilapidated
3 : completely unwound

run down

ran down; run down; running down; runs 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 of all the major announcements from Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Xbox E3 2019 reveals: Watch all the major game announcements here," 9 June 2019 So here’s a rundown of what LSU names to watch in the MLB Draft, which begins with the first two rounds 6 p.m. Monday on MLB Network. Brody Miller,, "MLB Draft preview: What LSU players and signees to watch for," 3 June 2019 Here’s a rundown of everything Apple announced today at the conference hall in San Jose, California—including, yes, the death of iTunes. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "Everything Apple announced at its WWDC 2019 developer conference," 3 June 2019 Here’s a rundown of some things to know heading into the season’s seventh weekend. Steve Megargee, The Seattle Times, "Recent history says No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 ND should be wary," 26 Oct. 2018 Here's a rundown of everything on sale today as part of Amazon's 12 Days of Deals. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Upgrade Your Work Machine With Amazon's Big PC Sale," 5 Dec. 2018 Here's a rundown of what may be bugging you and why — plus ways to tame symptoms, from the simplest (over-the-counter pills) to the more involved (surgery). 1. Sari Harrar, Good Housekeeping, "4 Perimenopause Period Symptoms That Could Be Serious," 3 July 2018 Get the full rundown on Fox's new shows here, and check out the full list of what's been renewed and canceled for the 2018-19 season here. Kate Stanhope,, "'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' cancellation elicits strong reaction online," 11 May 2018 They’ve been exhaustively tracked by MacRumors, but the rundown includes reports from Economic Daily News, Digitimes, and Mac Otakara. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "There are a ton of sketchy rumors about an upcoming iPhone SE 2," 26 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

If funds run down cash holdings, for example, to buy more of their winners, that would tend to lift markets. Mike Bird, WSJ, "December Has Typically Been a Great Month for Stocks—Until Now," 9 Dec. 2018 While most people are watching him run down the court, the camera actually catches the bench doing something crazy. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Omar Raja of House of Highlights on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 18 July 2018 Ben tuned in to the news and saw Watts running down the sidewalk, trying to evade television cameras. Jennifer Gonnerman, The New Yorker, "How One Woman’s Fight to Save Her Family Helped Lead to a Mass Exoneration," 19 May 2018 The video begins with the door to Room 111 — where the family was staying — opening at 4:35 p.m. Moments later, a small child comes out and runs down the sidewalk outside the room, before returning to the room seconds later. Jared Gilmour, star-telegram, "Dad slept as toddler wandered Motel 6. It happened again — and a child died, Texas cops say | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 7 May 2018 The man then stood up, fled the room, and ran down the rear stairwell. Abigail Feldman And Elise Takahama,, "Woman in MIT frat house awoke to find a man touching her. It appears to be the third incident this month," 28 May 2018 All three got out and two jumped over a guardrail and ran down an embankment that leads into railroad tracks. Adam Ferrise,, "Trio pistol-whipped, tied up Cleveland teen," 15 May 2018 Authorities say Helton ignored commands to drop his weapon and ran down a nearby stairwell that led to a nearby Econo Lodge parking lot., "Man shot by police in Erlanger charged with attempted murder," 3 May 2018 Margot, meanwhile, could be right behind him after facing Kirby Yates’ in live batting practice at Petco Park, running down fly balls in the outfield and participating in regular pre-game BP. Jeff Sanders,, "Decisions looming for outfield as Myers, Margot near returns," 18 Apr. 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 2


1815, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1686, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near rundown






run down


Statistics for rundown

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

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
British : 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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More from Merriam-Webster on rundown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rundown

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rundown

Spanish Central: Translation of rundown

Nglish: Translation of rundown for Spanish Speakers

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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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