- The definition of run down is someone or something that is not looking good and that has become dilapidated or disheveled, often due to neglect.
- An example of run down is a person who has a cold and who looks tired and worn out.
- An example of run down is a house in foreclosure on which the owners haven't done any repairs for the last ten years.
- Run down means a detailed description or analysis of something.
When a senior tells a junior all about the teacher and the type of tests to expect, this is an example of a run down.
run-down definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- not wound and therefore not running, as a spring-operated clock
- in poor physical condition, as from overwork; debilitated
- fallen into disrepair; dilapidated
run-down - Phrases/Idioms
Stop because of lack of power or force, as in The alarm clock finally ran down. [Mid-1700s]
Make or be tired, cause to decline or be declined in health or vigor, as in His long illness ran him down, leaving him with no energy, or After that huge assignment his strength ran down. [First half of 1800s]
Collide with and knock over, as in The speeding motorist ran down a pedestrian. [Second half of 1500s]
Chase and capture, as in Police detectives ran down the suspects. [Second half of 1600s]
Trace the source of, as in She ran down all the references at the library.
Disparage, as in Don't run him down, he's a talented actor. [Second half of 1600s] Also see put down, def. 4.
Also, run one's eyes over. Look over, review, as in Let's run down the membership list again and see if we can pick a delegate, or She ran her eyes over the crowd, looking for her husband.
In baseball, tag out a runner between bases, as in We might have won but in the last inning they ran down two of our runners.