also-ran

   This term refers to an unsuccessful competitor whose performance is so much poorer than the winner's that it appears insignificant.
   

He entered the contest hoping that he wouldn't end up as an 'also-ran'.


English Idioms & idiomatic expressions. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • also-ran — n someone who fails to win a competition, election etc ▪ Ten months ago he was just an also ran for the Democratic nomination …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • also-ran — (n.) 1896, originally in reference to horse races, from ALSO (Cf. also) + past tense of RUN (Cf. run) (v.). Probably from the way non placing horses were listed in race results …   Etymology dictionary

  • also-ran — also rans N COUNT If you describe someone as an also ran, you mean that they have been or are likely to be unsuccessful in a contest …   English dictionary

  • also-ran — also ,ran noun count someone who is not successful, especially someone who loses an election or competition …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • also-ran — ► NOUN ▪ a loser in a race or contest …   English terms dictionary

  • also-ran — ☆ also ran [ôl′sōran΄ ] n. 1. a horse that fails to finish first, second, or third in a race 2. Informal any loser in any competition …   English World dictionary

  • also-ran — noun a contestant who loses the contest • Syn: ↑loser • Ant: ↑winner (for: ↑loser) • Derivationally related forms: ↑lose (for: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • also-ran — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms also ran : singular also ran plural also rans someone who is not successful, especially someone who loses an election or competition …   English dictionary

  • also-ran — noun Date: 1896 1. a horse or dog that finishes out of the money in a race 2. a contestant that does not win 3. one that is of little importance especially competitively < was just an also ran in the scramble for…privileges C. A. Buss > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • also-ran — n A horse that loses races or an unsuccessful human competitor. Dealer s Choice is another also ran that never won a race. 1890s …   Historical dictionary of American slang

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