to run into the ground

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - run into the ground

"to run into the ground"

1) to force someone to work so hard or so much that they become ill or exhausted and cannot work anymore

2) to use or ill-use something so much that it becomes inoperable, ruined or destroyed

3) to pursue a topic until it has been thoroughly discussed or exhausted to the point that no one wants to hear any more


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - run into the ground

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: Where is Sarah today?

Colleague 2: She is off sick.

Colleague 1: No wonder she got ill. The boss has been running her into the ground for the past several months.

Colleague 2: I agree. No one could work eighty and ninety hour weeks and not become exhausted or break down.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - run into the ground

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: How long have you owned your car now? Twelve years?

Friend 2: More like almost fifteen.

Friend 1: When are you going to buy a new one?

Friend 2: After I have run this one into the ground. There is still lots of life left in it. I figure I can drive it for another five years, at least, before it is no longer feasible to maintain it.

Idiom Scenario 3

Idiom Definition - run into the ground

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: Oh, no. Here comes Larry again. No doubt he is going to continue to bore us to death with his great new idea.

Colleague 2: Having talked about it at great length three times already, and discovering that the idea wouldn't work anyways, I just don't think I can stand to hear about it again.

Colleague 1: Larry does like to run an idea into the ground.

Test Your Understanding  

to run into the ground - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   405   click for frequency by country

to run into the ground - Gerund Form:

Running their employees into the ground, the company found that it always had a high turnover rate.

Running his car into the ground, by not caring for it properly, was common practice for him.

Running her idea into the ground did not help to move her cause forward.

to run into the ground - Examples:

1)  ... to binge on food, get into disastrous relationships, or run themselves into the ground until they are completely burned out. Why?

2)  ... and has no idea what they're doing and they run it into the ground

3)  I proceeded to work long hours, too, and started to run myself into the ground.

4)  ... about the 'hard work' and intelligence of people who run companies into the ground through intelligence and make ordinary worker's lives precarious and miserable.

5)  I just know all of those girls will run themselves into the ground and give anything for us to win. 

6)  ... feel we need to be all things to our children and run ourselves into the ground.

7)  The illegals, the poor, the unions have all run California into the ground

8)  Corrupt politicians and bankers have run us into the ground, and we're struggling to get back up off our knees.

9)  I like my TouchPads and Pre3 very much and will run them into the ground before moving on.

10)  He ran NSW into the ground and left via the back door before the whole thing imploded.

11)  ... recovering from chronic fatigue and between that and racing obligations ran himself into the ground.

12)  They ran them into the ground because it was cheaper than prematurely replacing the fleet with buses.

13)  Defeat by a far superior team who ran us into the ground because we were chasing the ball rather than retaining possession.

14)  They ran him into the ground, broke him and sent him back.

15)  ... the first lot of privatisations -- they asset stripped them, ran them into the ground, and then sold them when they'd been bled dry.

16)  The blue states like California are broke and running themselves into the ground with entitlement programs.

17)  ... to have realistic expectations about what you can achieve rather than running yourself into the ground

18)  To avoid running yourself into the ground, learn to sometimes say no to those requests and commitments that are less than ...

19)  It may mean running yourself into the ground with a weekend job or going further into debt. 

20)  ... through each day non-stop like a busy fool going nowhere only running yourself into the ground, shortening your life and making yourself ill.