- (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.
Origin of also-ran
Examples from the Web for also-ran
Rand Paul had the benefit of observing both what made his father likable and popular, and what made him an also-ran.
Ten years ago, Apple began its transformation from an also-ran PC maker to a world-beating tech titan.
For a time he wrote criticism for Mawaqif, a publication founded by the Syrian poet (and perennial Nobel also-ran) Adonis.Elias Khoury: Profile of the Essential Arab Novelist Today|Jacob Silverman|August 3, 2012|DAILY BEAST
The FTC has subpoenaed Google in an antitrust case—the kind of probe that turned Microsoft from king of tech to an also-ran.
He had made a joke about his movie's status as also-ran to The Hurt Locker.
British Dictionary definitions for also-ran
Word Origin and History 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.