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

Below, a quick rundown of The Great Show's great fall. Ana Colón, Glamour, "Everything You Need to Know About Dolce & Gabbana's Canceled Shanghai Fashion Show," 26 Nov. 2018 Alexa has a bunch of different Flash Briefings designed to give you a quick rundown of everything that’s happened, along with 90-second audio reports from ___ like Marketplace and Axios. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Smart speakers have no idea how to give us news," 18 Nov. 2018 Below is a quick rundown of gadget and gaming deals that may be worth your attention—and what to expect from the bigger tech brands and product categories later this week. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: The Black Friday 2018 tech deals that might actually be worth buying," 18 Nov. 2018 Here is a rundown of the Bulldogs' top career scorers, with coverage from the IndyStar archives. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "Here are Butler basketball's top 10 career scorers," 9 July 2018 He was eventually tagged out in a lengthy rundown, which was not necessarily a base-running mistake, since the lead runner in that situation is supposed to draw the throw and prevent the double play. Peter Schmuck,, "Orioles let a lot go to waste in middle innings of their come-from-ahead loss to Nationals," 20 June 2018 The rundown: Reed has enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2018. Shawn Mcfarland,, "Breaking Down The 2018 Travelers Championship Player Field," 14 June 2018 Taste tests First, a quick rundown of my dining options. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Ars eats more bugs, finds a few we like," 30 Sep. 2018 Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been happening, and four areas to watch. Julia Belluz, Vox, "The Trump administration’s attack on children’s health protections," 27 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Huskies won 6-1 in the preseason then rallied from three runs down to win 7-6 on Feb. 22. J.c. Carnahan,, "Hagerty travels to Lake Mary for top-ranked Super Six baseball showdown," 16 Apr. 2018 Here's a run down of some of the ways to get involved: 1. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "September is for Kentuckians. Here's how to celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month," 31 Aug. 2017 He can usually be spotted on the sidelines running down on punts consistently evading two blockers. Omar Kelly,, "Dolphins DB Walt Aikens' evolution as a player continues," 13 June 2018 In general, an officer cannot claim fear of a vehicle running down another officer or a pedestrian as justification for opening fire. Evan Sernoffsky, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco officer’s shots at moving vehicle rekindle tense debate," 22 May 2018 Watson has been a speedy presence in centerfield all season, running down most balls hit inside the park. Brody Miller,, "LSU baseball left off first, second All-SEC teams for first time in 10 years," 21 May 2018 Previously, Washington’s largest comeback was rallying from eight runs down against the Braves in 2015. 2. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "7 incredible stats from Nationals' crazy 9-run comeback vs. Marlins," 6 July 2018 The outdoor tables at the trattorias rest on the dirt the horses will be running down the following evening, and both tourists and locals are out in force. Maya Singer, Vogue, "A Weekend Under the Tuscan Sun with Rosetta Getty at the Palio Horse Race," 3 July 2018 These beetles are named for the lights that run down the female’s larva-like body, said to look like lights from train windows at night. National Geographic, "Living Fireworks, These Animals Produce Light Shows with Their Bodies," 30 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

3 Dec 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



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

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a nest or breeding place

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