a quick review or summary of main points of information, usually oral: This brief rundown of past events will bring you up to date.
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.
Commerce. runoff(def 4).

Origin of rundown

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




fatigued; weary; exhausted.
in a state of poor health: He was in a run-down condition from months of overwork.
in neglected condition; fallen into disrepair: a run-down house.
(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

Synonyms for run-down

3. seedy, tacky, shabby, deteriorated. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rundown

Contemporary Examples of rundown

Historical Examples of rundown

  • Greg drove from the rundown district faster than the law allowed.

    Cancer World

    Harry Warner

  • Then her glance swept him swiftly from bared head to rundown heel.

    Overland Red

    Henry Herbert Knibbs

  • But he was in a dreadfully exhausted and rundown condition—nearly starved indeed.

    The Angel

    Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull

  • Between mouthfuls, the two older people gave him a rundown on the morning's mishaps.

  • A northerner passing a rundown looking place in the South, stopped to chat with the farmer.

    Toaster's Handbook

    Peggy Edmund and Harold W. Williams, compilers

Word Origin and History for rundown

in baseball, 1908, from verbal phrase, from run (v.) + down (adv.). Meaning "list of entries in a horse race and the odds" is from 1935; slang generalized sense of "summary, account, list of information or facts" is from 1945.



1866, of persons, with reference to health, from verbal phrase, from run (v.) + down (adv.). From 1896 of places; 1894 of clocks. Earliest sense is "oppressed" (1680s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper