See more synonyms for third-rate on

Origin of third-rate

First recorded in 1640–50
Related formsthird-rat·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for third-rate

Contemporary Examples of third-rate

  • In the past, it has actually helped the cause of freedom that politics is mostly a pursuit for third-rate talents.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Can We Divorce Our Elites?

    James Poulos

    April 13, 2014

  • First-rate and third-rate works of the same size brought similar prices.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Brave New Art World

    Arne Glimcher

    February 2, 2009

Historical Examples of third-rate

  • To you or me he would have looked like what he was, a second or third-rate tragedian.

    Cruel Barbara Allen

    David Christie Murray

  • There are numerous second- and third-rate hotels in the city and suburbs.

  • There are too many cheap lawyers and third-rate politicians there.

  • They tell us what it is, a third-rate city in a stony wilderness.


    Benjamin Disraeli

  • He is a music master, or a penny-a-liner, or a third-rate artist.

    Daisy Miller

    Henry James

British Dictionary definitions for third-rate


  1. not of high quality; mediocre or inferior
Derived Formsthird-rater, noun
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