run down(redirected from run someone down)
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1. verb To hit someone or something with one's car, especially intentionally or due to reckless driving. A noun or pronoun can be used between "run" and "down." The car swerved onto the sidewalk and nearly ran down an entire family.
2. verb To find someone or something after a search; to track down someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "run" and "down." I ran down a colleague from years ago who might be able to help us with the tax situation. I ran that file down that you were asking about. It looks like the account hasn't been active in years.
3. verb To criticize, deprecate, or belittle someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "run" and "down." There's no need to run down his work like that! Sarah's father has been running her down for years.
4. adjective In poor health; feeling exhausted and sick. In this usage, the phrase is often hyphenated. A: "I think I'm getting a sore throat." B: "You're probably run-down—you haven't gotten a full night's sleep in weeks!"
5. noun The general details about or a brief summary of something. In this usage, the phrase is usually spelled as one word. Please give me a rundown of what was discussed at the board meeting yesterday. I'll just give you a quick rundown before we get started.
6. noun In baseball or softball, a situation in which a baserunner is caught off base between two defensive players (one of whom has the ball) attempting to tag the runner "out." In this usage, the phrase is usually spelled as one word. The runner rounded third without seeing the throw come in and got caught in a rundown.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
run someone or something down
1. to collide with and knock down someone or something. The drunken driver ran three pedestrians down. Mary ran down a stop sign.
2. to criticize or deride someone or something. Please stop running me down all the time. I can't be that bad! You run down everybody who takes your old job!
3. to hunt for and locate someone or something. Could you run some information down for me? I was finally able to run down my old friend.
run something down
to use something having batteries, a motor, or an engine until it has no more power and it stops. Who ran my electric toothbrush down? Someone ran down my batteries.
1. to come down, running or very quickly; to go down, running or very quickly. I need to talk to you down here. Can you run down? I will run down and talk to you.
2. [for something] to lose power and stop working. The clock ran down because no one was there to wind it. The toy ran down and wouldn't go again until it had been wound.
3. to become worn or dilapidated. The property was allowed to run down, and it took a lot of money to fix it up. The old neighborhood has certainly run down since we moved away.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Stop because of lack of power or force, as in The alarm clock finally ran down. [Mid-1700s]
2. 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]
3. Collide with and knock over, as in The speeding motorist ran down a pedestrian. [Second half of 1500s]
4. Chase and capture, as in Police detectives ran down the suspects. [Second half of 1600s]
5. Trace the source of, as in She ran down all the references at the library.
6. Disparage, as in Don't run him down, he's a talented actor. [Second half of 1600s] Also see put down, def. 4.
7. 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.
8. 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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To stop because of lack of force or power: The battery ran down, causing the clock to stop.
2. To make someone or something tired or worn; cause someone or something to lose vigor: All of that work ran me down. The headlights ran down the battery.
3. To collide with and knock down or damage someone or something: That speeding car almost ran me down. The bus ran down a pedestrian.
4. To chase and capture someone or something: The detectives ran down the suspects and had them arrested. The wolves separated one of the elk from the herd and ran it down.
5. To trace the source of something: The police ran down all possible leads in the case. We had the license plate number, so we ran it down and got the name of the driver.
6. To disparage someone or something: Don't run her down—she is very talented.
7. To review something from top to bottom, such as a list; go over something: Let's run down the list of new members and see who has paid the membership fee.
8. Baseball To put a runner out after trapping him or her between two bases: The visiting team managed to run down three players in one inning. The runner tried to get to third base, but the shortstop caught the ball and ran him down.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n. a summary bringing someone up to date. Can you give me a rundown on what’s happened since noon?
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.