Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

run down

 - definition
Close

What are red words?

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.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
phrasal verb
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theyrun down
he/she/itruns down
present participlerunning down
past tenseran down
past participlerun down

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 1
    [transitive] to hit someone with your car and injure or kill them
    be/get run down:

    She got run down outside school.

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

    You're always running me down!

    run yourself down:

    You're a brilliant mother. 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
    [intransitive/transitive] British if a business or organization runs down, or if someone runs it down, it gradually becomes smaller

    They've been running the factory down for the last five years.

    The decision was taken to let the steel industry run down.

  5. 5
    [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.

  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

sandwich generation

a generation … who are balancing working life with caring for both their teenage children and elderly parents

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

dish

to gossip or share personal information with someone …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog