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 Here’s a rundown on key factors in play for a season like no other. Ian Mcnulty | Staff Writer,, "5 things that will define king cake during a different Mardi Gras, from Saints to shipping," 4 Jan. 2021 Here’s our latest rundown of new and classic movies playing at drive-ins, pop-ups or rooftops near you. Los Angeles Times, "What’s playing at the drive-in: ‘Promising Young Woman’ and more," 31 Dec. 2020 From Marvel’s first Muslim superhero to an R&B singer making their acting debut, here’s our rundown of newcomers to keep on your radar in the new year. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "The 15 Rising Stars Poised to Dominate 2021, From Indie Darlings to Marvel Superheroes," 29 Dec. 2020 In his rundown of the looming April 4 municipal elections in the south and southwest suburbs, the Daily Southtown’s Mike Nolan notes a veteran mayor is running for another term while in the crosshairs of the legal system. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: Duckworth pushes back on Trump’s threat to hold up COVID-19 relief package | Two on Trump clemency list have Chicago ties | Pritzker: 100K vaccinated so far in Illinois," 23 Dec. 2020 With this in mind, here, in no particular order, is my annual rundown of the year’s 10 best, plus a brief roster of runners-up. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "From ‘American Utopia’ to ‘Ma Rainey’: The 10 best films of 2020," 21 Dec. 2020 Here’s a quick rundown of the show entering the 7 p.m. CT Saturday league totle game with Florida. Michael Casagrande |, al, "What Nick Saban said about injuries, the media, Butch Jones," 18 Dec. 2020 To remedy that, here’s a rundown of 10 of the best from this strangest of years. Mark Richardson, WSJ, "The Best Music of 2020: From Bob Dylan to Fiona Apple, Even Covid Couldn’t Stop the Groove," 11 Dec. 2020 One of the staples of our weekly rundown takes on a different meaning as the regular-season finale approaches. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "If The Game is off, the Big Ten needs to apply common sense to Ohio State’s dilemma: College football Monday Madness," 7 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The secondary gave up six explosive plays through the air, three of which the cornerbacks had to run down. Giana Han, al, "Grading Auburn’s loss to Northwestern in the Citrus Bowl," 2 Jan. 2021 Two witnesses reported hearing a gunshot and seeing males run down the street and hop into a black car. Liz Sawyer, Star Tribune, "Cellphone pictures lead investigators to suspect in St. Paul homicide," 21 Dec. 2020 Northwestern quarterback Peyton Ramsey runs it, and Josh Proctor, as the single deep safety, attacks the play too hard and is left out of position, as Ramsey pops a 34-yard run down the middle of the field. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Ohio State beats Northwestern 22-10: Doug Lesmerises’ diary of the Buckeyes’ comeback win," 19 Dec. 2020 The Guardian has a run down of the somewhat sordid machinations. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Improving your productivity could be wrecking your life," 23 Nov. 2020 Two possessions later, Calvin struck again, this time on a 49-yard touchdown run down with 8:53 left in the game. Ben Stapley, The Arizona Republic, "Santa Cruz rides big plays, beats St. Johns, advances to 2A championship," 6 Dec. 2020 In that event, a cowgirl riding a horse attempts to run down and rope a calf that is given a head start. Tess Demeyer, Dallas News, "Everything you need to know about the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo," 2 Dec. 2020 This run down of the most popular artists, albums, songs, playlists, and podcasts is a window into how 320 million people enjoyed audio entertainment. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "Here’s What People Listened to on Spotify During This Very Crazy Year," 1 Dec. 2020 The teams combined for four punts as Northlake was forced to go for it on fourth down several times, and after the big first half, Bogalusa was able to run the ball which helped the Lumberjacks run down the clock. Jason Russell,, "Northlake Christian can't get anything going in 40-0 loss to Bogalusa," 21 Nov. 2020

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

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rundown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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