front runner

or front-runner, frontrunner

See synonyms for front runner on
  1. a person who leads in any competition.

  2. an entrant in a race who breaks to the front immediately and establishes the pace for the field.

  1. an entrant in a race who performs well only when ahead of the field.

Origin of front runner

An Americanism dating back to 1935–40

Words Nearby front runner Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use front runner in a sentence

  • O'Connor's practiced eye saw no menace in that floundering front runner; no danger in a shaft already spent.

    Old Man Curry | Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

British Dictionary definitions for frontrunner


/ (ˈfrʌntˌrʌnə) /

  1. informal the leader or a favoured contestant in a race, election, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012