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

Noun They gave us a rundown on the main points of the news. a rundown of our public services He was caught in a rundown. Verb 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 Jamie gives listeners a rundown about how to actually watch for whales. oregonlive, "How to go whale watching on the Oregon coast: Peak Northwest podcast," 25 Feb. 2021 Yes, everyone is excited in February, before the freak accidents happen, before Shoemaker stumbles executing a rundown, or a nerve in his elbow becomes compressed, or he gets hit in the head by a line drive. Phil Miller, Star Tribune, "Matt Shoemaker is latest patient for Twins' spin-rate doctor," 22 Feb. 2021 Instagram became surprisingly helpful; Austin Fox affiliate morning anchor Leslie Rangel had an incredible rundown of the terrible conditions in central Texas. Caitlin Cruz, The New Republic, "I’m Tired of Living Through Extraordinary Times in Texas," 20 Feb. 2021 The impeachment managers closed the day with a rundown of Trump’s actions once the riot had begun. Anchorage Daily News, "House impeachment managers emphasize the danger to Pence and other top officials in harrowing retelling of Jan. 6 attack," 11 Feb. 2021 Jubanyik gave the student a quick rundown of the case. New York Times, "Suddenly the Man Couldn’t See. Was His Chest Pain Connected?," 4 Feb. 2021 It’s bland by design, a rundown of who can do what and when. Philip Elliott, Time, "Why Mitch McConnell Is Filibustering to Protect the Filibuster," 22 Jan. 2021 Reynolds Facetimed with them, giving a detailed rundown of all the unit’s features. J.k. Dineen,, "Scam artists are using San Francisco’s coronavirus safety rules to trick renters looking for a good deal," 12 Jan. 2021 The first-ever broadcast on the children's network had its own broadcast crew, style, graphics and, yes, slime. Check out a rundown of some of the best moments from the first half of that broadcast below. Jeff Nowak,, "Nickelodeon Slime, Cam-burger Jordan and more: Here's what Saints-Bears looked like on Nick," 10 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Currie lists corned pork, pepper pot, jerk sauce, roasted tubers and run down as examples of Jamaican foods that were adopted from the Maroons. Daphne Ewing-chow, Forbes, "Sovereignty And The Soil: Chief Richard Currie And The Rising Of The Maroon Nation In Jamaica," 28 Feb. 2021 But the media gleefully went all-in on this game — and managed to pump up the wrong governor and run down the wrong one, in a failure for the ages. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Andrew Cuomo Is Everything the Press Accused Ron DeSantis of Being," 23 Feb. 2021 The Tigers then took control with a 17-2 run down the stretch, spurred by Uvaelunmo’s outburst. Rich Scherr,, "Towson earns first men’s basketball win of season, surging past Coppin State, 78-73," 26 Dec. 2020 Hoisted in the air and surrounded by scaffolding, the object’s two appendages stick out and run down its sides like the long, slender legs of a praying mantis. New York Times, "The Resurrection of American Magic," 28 Jan. 2021 The sinister nature of the assault has become evident, betraying the crowd as a force determined to occupy the inner sanctums of Congress and run down leaders — Trump's vice president and the Democratic House speaker among them. Matt Delong, Star Tribune, "TALKERS011121," 11 Jan. 2021 Race 6 1 – Quick Tempo – Looks to get a nice lead in this sprint and will be tough to run down. Michael Beychok,, "Check out Michael Beychok's Fair Grounds picks for Saturday, Dec. 19," 18 Dec. 2020 Sunday’s result: Loud Mouth ($28.00) sat joint third down the backstretch, moved up three-wide on turn, then kept coming to run down Take the One O One near the wire. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Horse racing newsletter: Happy Thanksgiving!," 26 Nov. 2020 The sinister nature of the assault has become evident, betraying the crowd as a force determined to occupy the inner sanctums of Congress and run down leaders — Trump’s vice president and the Democratic House speaker among them. Anchorage Daily News, "Capitol assault a more sinister attack than first appeared," 11 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for rundown

Time Traveler

The first known use of rundown was in 1686

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Statistics for rundown

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rundown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on rundown

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rundown

Nglish: Translation of rundown for Spanish Speakers

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