Definition of run someone/something down in English:

run someone/something down

phrasal verb

  • 1(of a vehicle or its driver) hit a person or animal and knock them to the ground.

    ‘the boy was run down by joyriders’
    • ‘It's too easy for the drivers of such huge and unwieldy vehicles to sideswipe your bike and run you down without even noticing you're there.’
    • ‘The victim, in his 60s, was taken to the intensive care unit at Middlesbrough General Hospital after the blue Honda Civic ran him down in the town.’
    • ‘Powell had run Clarke down with his four-wheel drive vehicle when she joined picketing wharf workers at the Port of Lyttelton, near Christchurch late in 1999.’
    • ‘The 50-year-old man shouted out to the driver after he narrowly missed running him down in Moor Lane, near the junction with Chessington Hill Park, on Tuesday, October 7, at 5pm.’
    • ‘TWO men were stabbed and a third was run down by their attacker as he made his getaway after a night out in Cleethorpes turned to violence.’
    • ‘As he limps across the street, a cab almost runs him down.’
    • ‘For a driver too, the memory of running someone down will haunt you for the rest of your life, especially if the victim dies.’
    • ‘According to one witness, a worker who was standing next to her, the driver deliberately ran Clark down.’
    • ‘As Kim stood in the path of a truck attempting to enter Sanjo Remicon's depot, the driver ran him down.’
    • ‘The bird was spotted on the line near Kingston Bridge at 8.40 am by a quick-witted train driver who managed to avoid running it down.’
    run over, knock down, knock over, knock to the ground
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    1. 1.1 (of a boat) collide with another vessel.
      • ‘During the voyage they will have to ride out ferocious storms and heavy seas and there will be a constant threat from floating logs, abandoned containers and huge merchant vessels which could run them down without even noticing.’
  • 2Criticize someone or something unfairly or unkindly.

    ‘you mustn't keep running yourself down’
    • ‘We do not want to hear Opposition members running New Zealanders down, running the country down, and bringing everybody down.’
    • ‘He was very attached to me but would often run me down.’
    • ‘I'm not running them down, they do a good job for very little return…’
    • ‘‘Some people have complained or run us down,’ says Kernan, a small smile almost escaping.’
    • ‘He says you've been running him down in public recently.’
    • ‘It wasn't that she was selfless, or, in the case of her failing to stick up for herself when my father ran her down in public, that she was weak, but rather that she was dignified.’
    • ‘The captain doesn't like Wes so he uses the opportunity to run him down.’
    • ‘I love Britain, it is my country and no one boasts it up, they are always running it down.’
    • ‘People from my generation like to run you down so it is nice to see you kids doing something positive about having somewhere fun to play and skate.’
    • ‘People who run her down should be ashamed of themselves, and talk of her servants and privileged life is nonsense.’
    criticize, denigrate, belittle, disparage, deprecate, speak badly off, speak ill of, find fault with
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  • 3Discover someone or something after a search.

    ‘she finally ran the professor down’
    • ‘She finally ran the professor down in an academic directory.’
    find, discover, locate, track down, trace, run to earth, unearth, hunt out, ferret out
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