The term “also-ran” is often used to describe a person or thing that is not successful or does not achieve a desired goal. It is a term that can be used in a variety of contexts, from sports to politics to business. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of “also-ran,” as well as its origins, associations, and synonyms.
According to Merriam-Webster, an also-ran is “a contestant who finishes out of the money” or “a person or thing that is not successful or does not do well.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a person or thing that is unsuccessful or has not achieved success.” In both cases, the term is used to describe someone or something that falls short of expectations or goals.
The term “also-ran” has its origins in horse racing, where it was used to describe a horse that finished in a position other than first, second, or third. The term was first recorded in the early 19th century and has since been used in a variety of contexts beyond horse racing.
Meaning in different dictionaries
The meaning of “also-ran” is consistent across different dictionaries, with variations in wording but a shared emphasis on lack of success or achievement. For example, Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “a person or thing that has not been successful in a competition or race.”
The term “also-ran” is often associated with disappointment, failure, or underachievement. It can be used to describe a person or team that did not win a competition, a product that did not sell well, or a business that did not succeed. It can also be used in a more general sense to describe someone who is not successful or accomplished.
There are several synonyms for “also-ran” that can be used interchangeably, including “loser,” “underdog,” “also-bought,” and “nonstarter.” Each of these terms emphasizes a different aspect of failure or lack of success.
The antonyms of “also-ran” are words that emphasize success or achievement, such as “winner,” “champion,” “victor,” or “success story.” These terms are used to describe someone or something that has achieved a desired goal or outcome.
The same root words
The term “also-ran” does not have any obvious root words, as it is a compound word made up of “also” and “ran.” However, the term “ran” can be traced back to Old English, where it meant “to run or race.” This suggests that the term “also-ran” has its roots in the world of racing and competition.
- The team was disappointed to be labeled as an also-ran in the tournament.
- The product was an also-ran in the market, failing to gain traction among consumers.
- She was tired of being seen as an also-ran in her field and was determined to achieve success.
- The horse was an also-ran in the race, finishing far behind the winner.
- The politician was seen as an also-ran in the election, failing to gain support from voters.