[ ruhn-er-uhp ]
See synonyms for: runner-uprunners-up on

noun,plural run·ners-up.
  1. the competitor, player, or team finishing in second place, as in a race, contest, or tournament.

  2. runners-up, the competitors who do not win a contest but who place ahead of the majority of the contestants and share in prizes or honors, as those who place second, third, and fourth, or in the top ten.

Origin of runner-up

First recorded in 1835–45

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

How to use runner-up in a sentence

  • I won one once—runner-up in the fifth flight over at San Gabriel.

    Fore! | Charles Emmett Van Loan
  • However, as a traitor, I'm not even a runner-up with your father.

    The Pride of Palomar | Peter B. Kyne
  • To be runner-up two years in succession stimulates the desire for the first place.

    Love Among the Chickens | P. G. Wodehouse
  • But in the final, Herd defeated me on the last green, and so I had to be content with the prize given for runner-up.

  • Drummond would have been almost a certainty for a silver medal, and Stanning would probably have been a runner-up.

    The White Feather | P. G. Wodehouse

British Dictionary definitions for runner-up


nounplural runners-up
  1. a contestant finishing a race or competition in second place

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