1

Do they both mean a brief version? Eg.

They gave us the _ version of what had happened so far.

And is "break down" related to these words? Like in breaking down the steps for an activity.

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They are very similar, but have slightly different goals. Both involve a transfer of needed information.

Rundown is a high-level list, helping a person who just entered the situation to be better acclimated to what is going on without being bogged down with details. "He came to the ballgame late, so I gave him the rundown of the score and batting order."

Lowdown implies privately-held and true knowledge that's being held from the general populous for whatever reason. This is often accompanied by a lowering (quieting) of the voice, as if to convey a secret. "Everyone thought that Jimmy painted the mural, but Jane gave me the lowdown: it was actually her."

0

It seems so according to Oxford Dictionary

rundown

An analysis or summary of something by a knowledgeable person.

low-down

informal

The true facts or relevant information about something.

summary

A brief statement or account of the main points of something.

rundown synonyms:

[informal] low-down, recap

  • 1
    However, keep it on the lowdown means something different: keep it a secret. Although the specific words have similar definitions, they can mean something else in certain contexts. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 23 '18 at 16:04
  • @JasonBassford I didn't know that expression. But are you sure about it? I have found this: A phrase used by an adult attempting to use young slang, while failing to realize that the correct phrase is "down low" urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=lowdown – RubioRic May 23 '18 at 16:18
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    Yes, there is also down low. I've heard both. (I don't use either, myself.) I find it humorous that the Urban Dictionary would talk about "correct" slang. In one sense, no slang is "correct." However, I think both are used and understood. (That dictionary had another funny meaning for the word: Can mean COOL or be an expression of approval. Alternativley an expression of contempt.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 23 '18 at 16:29

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