[ ruhn-doun ]
See synonyms for rundown on
  1. a quick review or summary of main points of information, usually oral: This brief rundown of past events will bring you up to date.

  2. Baseball. a play in which a base runner is caught between bases by two or more players of the opposing team who toss the ball back and forth in an effort to tag the runner out.

  1. Commerce. runoff (def. 4).

Origin of rundown

1905–10, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase run down

Other definitions for run-down (2 of 2)

[ ruhn-doun ]

  1. fatigued; weary; exhausted.

  2. in a state of poor health: He was in a run-down condition from months of overwork.

  1. in neglected condition; fallen into disrepair: a run-down house.

  2. (of a spring-operated device) not running because it is unwound.

Origin of run-down

First recorded in 1675–85; adj. use of verb phrase run down

Other words for run-down Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rundown in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for run down

run down

verb(mainly adverb)
  1. to cause or allow (an engine, battery, etc) to lose power gradually and cease to function or (of an engine, battery, etc) to do this

  2. to decline or reduce in number or size: the firm ran down its sales force

  1. (tr, usually passive) to tire, sap the strength of, or exhaust: he was thoroughly run down and needed a holiday

  2. (tr) to criticize adversely; denigrate; decry

  3. (tr) to hit and knock to the ground with a moving vehicle

  4. nautical

    • (tr) to collide with and cause to sink

    • (intr, preposition) to navigate so as to move parallel to (a coast)

  5. (tr) to pursue and find or capture: to run down a fugitive

  6. (tr) to read swiftly or perfunctorily: he ran down their list of complaints

  1. tired; exhausted

  2. worn-out, shabby, or dilapidated

  1. a brief review, résumé, or summary

  2. the process of a motor or mechanism coming gradually to a standstill after the source of power is removed

  1. a reduction in number or size

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with rundown


Stop because of lack of power or force, as in The alarm clock finally ran down. [Mid-1700s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.