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 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 Here is a rundown of all of the times Meghan has supported her friends' work in public: Meghan has long been friends with fashion designer Misha Nonoo and regularly wears her clothing. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Every Time Meghan Markle Has Supported Her Friends' Work," 26 Feb. 2019 With days to go before show time Sunday, here’s a rundown of the contenders and why each one has reason to hope. Jake Coyle, The Seattle Times, "What will win best picture? It’s a maddeningly close race," 20 Feb. 2019 Wikipedia has a rundown of ingenious pro-tax arguments by recognized academic experts such as the University of Michigan’s Joel Slemrod. WSJ, "Dogs Bite Men and Trumps Duck Taxes," 5 Oct. 2018 Here's a rundown of the most important bits to know about each. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "iPhone XS, iPhone XR, Apple Watch and More: Apple's 2018 iPhone Event Roundup," 12 Sep. 2018 The rundown below includes discounts on various Lenovo and Dell laptops, Amazon's latest Echo speaker, Nokia's 6.1 smartphone, the Nvidia Shield media streamer, and more. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: Take 25% off a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and more Columbus Day deals," 8 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

To solve the problem, Beijing gave banks the green-light to ramp up mortgage lending—helping property developers run down inventory and goosing construction, in turn pushing SOE steel and cement margins back higher. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Why Old-School Chinese Stimulus Won’t Help," 21 Jan. 2019 Kathryn walked to the window at the front of her small, ranch-style house that afternoon, and felt hot tears run down her cheeks. Devin Tomb, Good Housekeeping, "“At 54, I Don’t Feel As Hopeful”: The Untold Story of Suicide in the U.S.," 21 Sep. 2018 Attack-minded fullback Hiroki Sakai also adds another dimension with his marauding runs down the right flank. Jerome Pugmire,, "Belgium hope to continue their winning run against the surprising Japan," 1 July 2018 According to a press release, a large fracture runs down its center, and smaller pieces are breaking from the edges. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "World’s Largest Iceberg Is Melting Away After 18 Years Adrift," 9 June 2018 Singles by Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley and a walk loaded the bases for the Astros in the eighth, but right fielder Avisail Garcia ran down Josh Reddick’s line drive off Adam Kolarek for the third out. Dick Scanlon, The Seattle Times, "Glasnow, 4 relievers help Rays beat Astros 3-1," 30 Mar. 2019 Then 12 minutes into Lowe’s set, rain swept over the grounds, and a flood of people ran down the steps seeking shelter under the pavilion’s roof. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 5: Greta Van Fleet, Chromeo, Rick Springfield and more," 1 July 2018 With fading and peeling paint, Knievel’s private living quarters were dusty and run down. Shaun Goodwin, kansascity, "How the heck did an Evel Knievel museum wind up in northeast Kansas?," 26 June 2018 Or, two thick French braids with micro plaits running down along the center part. Monica Kim, Vogue, "How Paco Rabanne Reimagined Lauren Bacall and Edie Sedgwick for the Social Media Age," 28 Feb. 2019

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

7 May 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).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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