- (in a race) a contestant who fails to win or to place among the first three finishers.
- an athlete or team whose performance in competition is rarely, if ever, a winning or near-winning one.
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Origin of also-ran
Words nearby also-ran
How to use also-ran in a sentence
Indeed, some of those troops who ran away from defending Mosul were already American-trained.Pentagon Insider on New Plan to Fight ISIS: ‘Of Course It’s Not Enough’|Nancy A. Youssef|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
And keep in mind that when Huckabee ran for president in 2008, he won the Iowa caucuses.
The sheriff charged them with truancy, and then he and his officers ran them out of town.Dr. King Goes to Hollywood: The Flawed History of ‘Selma’|Gary May|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
“When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him,” said Lott.Steve Scalise Shows There’s a Fine Line Between Confederate & Southern|Lloyd Green|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
EURO was founded by David Duke, the ex-Klansman who ran for Louisiana governor in 1991.
Poor Squinty ran and tried to hide under the straw, for he knew the boy was talking about him.Squinty the Comical Pig|Richard Barnum
Nearly half the regiment ran to secure their picketed horses, armed themselves in hot haste, and galloped to the gaol.The Red Year|Louis Tracy
Some of those halls that Mr. Meadow Mouse mentioned ran right out beneath the surface of the garden.The Tale of Grandfather Mole|Arthur Scott Bailey
They ran side by side across the yard to a roofed flight of steps that led to the printing-office.Hilda Lessways|Arnold Bennett
He was holding his big head high in the air, like a giraffe, and gazing proudly about him as he ran.Davy and The Goblin|Charles E. Carryl
British Dictionary definitions for also-ran
Idioms and Phrases with also-ran
Loser, failure, unsuccessful individual, as in Jane feared that her candidate, a terrible speaker, would end up as an also-ran, or As for getting promotions, Mark counted himself among the also-rans. This term comes from racing, where it describes a horse that finishes in fourth place or lower or does not finish a race at all. It first appeared in the 1890s in published racing results, and has since been transferred to losers in any kind of competition, and also more broadly to persons who simply don't do well.