Run Into the Ground

Meaning of Idiom ‘Run Into the Ground’

1. To run something into the ground is to manage it so badly that it is ruined and fails; to ruin or destroy something, usually a business or organization.

2. To excessively and continually discuss a topic until it all aspects of it are thoroughly exhausted. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

3. When an effort, plan, or activity runs into the ground, it fails. (British and Australian) 2McCarthy, Michael. Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. Cambridge University Press, 2002

Examples of Use

“Michael took over his father’s business and ran it into the ground.”

“He is known as a highly successful businessman but the fact is that he has run many businesses into the ground.”

“The committee has run gun control into the ground and still hasn’t come up with any plan or decision.”

“The peace talks looked promising but unfortunately, on the third day, they ran into the ground.”

Origin

Used since the early 1800s. The allusion here is to damaging something so badly it is buried in the ground. 3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

More Idioms Starting with R

More Ground Idioms

More Into Idioms

More Run Idioms

Sources   [ + ]

1, 3. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
2. McCarthy, Michael. Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. Cambridge University Press, 2002