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

Here’s a more-or-less comprehensive rundown of all the crazy ads and stunts that Fox has rolled out in the lead-up to Deadpool 2’s release. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "All the ridiculous Deadpool 2 marketing stunts you may have missed," 18 May 2018 In addition, the newspapers had begun their own independent testing inside more than a dozen rundown elementary schools, assisted by staffers who asked not to be identified. Dylan Purcell,, "Can Philadelphia school officials be trusted with millions in state money to clean up lead paint?," 12 July 2018 Dozier stopped halfway to the bag to trick second baseman Jason Kipnis into a rundown. Maria Torres, kansascity, "As Trevor Oaks wobbles and Alex Gordon steals home, Royals are swept by the Indians," 4 July 2018 In poor neighborhoods like Buffalo’s East Side, a new $42 million WorkForce Center is rising, a glimmer of hope in a neighborhood pocked with empty lots, rundown businesses and vacant storefronts. New York Times, "Cuomo’s ‘Buffalo Billion’: Is New York Getting Its Money’s Worth?," 2 July 2018 The refugees frequently have no choice but to live in rundown apartments because few complexes will accept a tenant with no credit, rental history or Social Security number, refugees and advocates said. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "Refugees flee war-torn homelands for deteriorating apartment complexes in S.A.," 30 June 2018 Lorenzen ended up going three innings and giving up one run on the rundown play. John Fay,, "Cincinnati Reds' magic missing against the Milwaukee Brewers," 29 June 2018 But Alice is immediately thwarted by her hostile and resentful older brother, Joe (Mark Stanley), who’s been tending the rundown sheep farm — and their sick father — in his sister’s long, incommunicado absence. Gary Goldstein,, "Ruth Wilson stars in powerful British drama 'Dark River'," 28 June 2018 Officers examined the area around the rundown house, which had two doors open toward Franklin Avenue. Carlie Kollath Wells,, "2 men killed in Desire area shooting, New Orleans police say," 23 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 One picture is of a young boy, gamely trying to smile through tears that run down his cheeks at a camera shoved in his face. Charles Desmarais,, "Bruce Gilden’s grotesques at Pier 24 Photography," 22 June 2018 What was once known as Vincennes Trail and Hubbard’s Trail is now Dixie Highway, a route running down to Miami, Florida, and a stretch of which is traveled by many in the Southland daily. Jessi Virtusio, Daily Southtown, "Drivin' the Dixie features vintage vehicles and contemporary cars touring historic highway," 7 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

5 Nov 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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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).


a private place of worship

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