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run down - definition and synonyms

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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyrun down
he/she/itruns down
present participlerunning down
past tenseran down
past participlerun down
  1. 1
    [transitive] to hit someone with your car and injure or kill them
    be/get run down:

    She got run down outside the school.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to criticize someone, especially in an unfair way

    You’re always running me down!

    run yourself down:

    You’re a great Mom. Why do you run yourself down?

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] if something such as a machine or clock runs down, or if you run it down, it gradually stops working because it has no power

    Switch your headlights off, or you’ll run the battery down.

  4. 4
    [transitive] run down something to quickly read everything on a list

    I’ll just run down the list and see if we’ve forgotten anything.

  5. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] British if a business or organization runs down, or if someone runs it down, it gradually becomes smaller
  6. 6
    run someone down to find someone after searching for them for a long time

    Police eventually ran him down in woods north of the city.

See also main entry: run
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