Etymology
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run-down (adj.)

1866, of persons, "to have the health or strength reduced," from the verbal phrase; see run (v.) + down (adv.). From 1896 of places, "dilapidated, shabby, seedy;" by 1894 of clocks, etc., "completely unwound." The earliest sense is "oppressed" (1680s). Compare rundown (n.).

The verbal phrase run down as "have the motive power exhausted" (of clocks, etc.) is by 1761; of persons, etc., "become weak or exhausted," by 1828. To run (something or someone) down "disparage, abuse" is by 1660s. 

updated on October 22, 2021

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Definitions of run-down from WordNet

run-down (adj.)
worn and broken down by hard use;
a run-down neighborhood
Synonyms: creaky / decrepit / derelict / flea-bitten / woebegone
run-down (adj.)
having the spring unwound;
a run-down watch
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.