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

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 Set in a rundown halfway house for women on New York's Upper West Side, the nearly three-hour work assembles a dizzying array of characters and situations, presented in short, episodic scenes. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven': Theater Review," 10 Dec. 2019 After savvy baserunning by Springer to stay in a rundown long enough to get runners to second and third, Altuve scored on Zack Britton’s wild pitch. Washington Post, "Cole pitches Astros past Yankees 4-1 for 2-1 lead in ALCS," 16 Oct. 2019 The protagonist, Arthur Fleck, is a mentally ill aspiring stand-up comedian who lives in a rundown flat with his ailing mother, Penny (Frances Conroy). N.b., The Economist, "“Joker” is not especially perceptive or politically sophisticated," 3 Oct. 2019 That allowed the go-ahead run to cross the plate and Soto to get to second, then turn for third before getting caught in a rundown to end the inning., "Grandal's 2-run home run," 2 Oct. 2019 Soto was caught in a rundown between second and third and tagged out for the final out of the inning. Alaa Abdeldaiem,, "Nationals Stun Brewers With Eighth-Inning Rally to Advance to NLDS," 1 Oct. 2019 Elsewhere in the rundown, BuyDig has a big bundle on the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition that includes two months of Xbox Live Gold and six game downloads—including the latest Madden NFL and Gears of War 4—for $229 with an on-site coupon. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: iPhone cases, PS4 controllers, and more in today’s top tech deals," 23 Aug. 2019 Trent Grisham broke from third as planned and tried to score, but started too late and was tagged out in a rundown. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 4, Pirates 3: Strong pitching, favorable obstruction play prove to be the difference," 6 Aug. 2019 The other error was an obstruction call on second baseman Jonathan Schoop that put Adam Engel on second base to lead off the third inning, though Engel had been caught in a rundown. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, "Nelson Cruz hits three home runs as Twins beat White Sox," 25 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Moses, representing the city, then ran down the names of witnesses likely to be called – most, geologists and city officials. Robert Wilonsky, Dallas News, "That fracking $30-million lawsuit pitting Dallas against gas-driller Trinity East finally goes to trial," 28 Jan. 2020 Investigators are running down new tips received since Monday’s announcement, and are trying to identify several women whose photographs — many of them nude — were discovered in Lindahl’s apartment after his death. Washington Post, "Was killer in 1976 slaying of suburban teen a serial killer?," 14 Jan. 2020 In 1966, an avalanche of coal waste ran down a mountain in Wales, smothering the town of Aberfan, killing 116 children and 28 adults. Kevin Cullen,, "The abdication of stiff upper lips," 13 Jan. 2020 Alas for the Knicks, James came running down the ramp before the tip, and that was that. Michael Powell, New York Times, "The Knicks Were 0-for-Los Angeles, but There May Be Signs of Hope," 8 Jan. 2020 On the first, Henry Baddley blocked a shot, ran down the floor, and was rewarded with an assist by Khalif Battle for a basket. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "Butler lockdown defense leads Dawgs in dominant rout in nonleague finale," 28 Dec. 2019 Blood and sweat were running down my face and into my eyes, which hurt quite a bit. Jason Daley, Outside Online, "Two Bison Attacks, One Harrowing Date," 26 Dec. 2019 And will Kid Fury run down as many Black comic characters in 15 seconds? Charise Frazier, Essence, "Watch Kid Fury and Crissle West Try To Guess Who Served These Shade-Filled Reads," 25 Dec. 2019 In the video, James runs down through everything that Tati accused him of and what really happened with those situations. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "6 of the Craziest Celeb Feuds of 2019," 13 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for rundown

Time Traveler

The first known use of rundown was in 1686

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Statistics for rundown

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rundown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for rundown


How to pronounce run down (audio)

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


How to pronounce run down (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rundown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rundown

Spanish Central: Translation of rundown

Nglish: Translation of rundown for Spanish Speakers

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