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

Below is a rundown of the JoJo Siwa deals and launches. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, "JoJo Siwa Is Launching New Merch for Amazon Prime Day, And You're Going to Want to Stock Up," 9 July 2019 Look no further than Burst Mode, the top pick in our annual rundown of tips and tricks to offer readers. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "7 Tips for taking great July 4th fireworks photos on your smartphone," 3 July 2019 Below is a rundown of the Denver-area school districts and the possible impact of the new kindergarten paradigm. Meg Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Colorado’s full-day kindergarten bill helps most Denver-area districts, but challenges the richest and poorest," 29 June 2019 The rundown of banks’ excess reserves was appropriate and desirable as the interest rates in Hong Kong dollars, known as Hibor, had been consistently below comparable U.S.-dollar rates, or Libor. John Greenwood And, WSJ, "Hong Kong’s Economy Is Going Strong," 24 June 2019 Here is a rundown of how the roster appears to be shaping up. Adam Himmelsbach,, "Assessing the Celtics’ roster as free agency approaches," 23 June 2019 Unlike that nostalgic tool box, our rundown of the best Father's Day gifts in 2019 cater to his favorite hobbies — from molecular gastronomy kits for the home chef to vinyl subscription for the music obsessed. Braelyn Wood,, "A Guide To 2019's Top Father's Day Gifts For All The Hobbyists Out There," 10 June 2019 Hillcrest later fell on hard times, and by the late 1960s nearly half the population was over 75 and living in rundown housing. Martina Schimitschek, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Hillcrest: Walkable, liveable community replaced rundown business district," 30 June 2019 Scores of documents and considerations factor into purchasing a home; a three-page rundown seems dangerously skimpy. Washington Post, "Do millennial women really need the book ‘How to Skimm Your Life’? Give us more credit.," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Moments later in transition, Javonte Green found Fall running down the court for an easy dunk. Jason Beede,, "Tacko Fall racks up blocks during Celtics Summer League win over Grizzlies," 11 July 2019 Think of all those runs down to the corner flag in the last few minutes that helped run the clock out. Jonathan Tannenwald, Pro Soccer USA, "France laments painful World Cup loss to U.S. on its home soil," 29 June 2019 Wharton loved to spoil Fox’s terrier, Winston, and was delighted when Winston would run down to the cottage and sit at the door, whining to be let in. Matthew Van Meter, The New Republic, "The Judge and the Three-Strikes Convict," 17 June 2019 But if the batteries ran down or the neurostimulator malfunctioned, all of Mr. B’s interest in Johnny Cash vanished. Carl Elliott, The New York Review of Books, "Happiness on Demand?," 7 Feb. 2019 Ohio State put on that run down a starter, as Jae'Sean Tate picked up his fourth foul with 15:47 left and sat for the next eight minutes. Bill Landis,, "Ohio State beats South Dakota State 81-73 in NCAA Tournament first-round, advances to play Gonzaga," 15 Mar. 2018 In its first lawsuit (and third complaint) against Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas sued the retailer in 2005 for apparel that featured three parallel stripes running down sleeves and pant legs. Sangeeta Singh-kurtz, Quartzy, "Adidas has sued pretty much everyone who has used stripes," 21 June 2019 Tom Pattee via harddrive Northern Lights over Kirkjubaejarklaustur - Iceland Angelica Ocay via harddrive My husband running down in Ingólfshöfdi headland. National Geographic, "Iceland Hiking Adventure," 12 June 2019 That name derives from Hubba Hideout, the six-step staircase with concrete ledges running down both sides that was set just off of EMB, a secluded enough place that people used to smoke crack—or hubba, in Bay Area slang—back there. Willy Blackmore, Curbed, "The public spaces that shaped skateboarding," 5 June 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

16 Jul 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

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something desired as essential

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