cellar dweller


sports, informal
: a last-place team : a team with the worst record in a league, conference, etc.
Northwestern University, long a cellar dweller in the Big Ten, defied all odds and went to the Rose Bowl in 1995.Andrew Zimbalist
… any team in the majors—including the cellar dwellers from the season before—has the chance to be the best in the game.Tracy Ringolsby
The Aggies have morphed from conference cellar dweller to annual contender to a program that has won 17 consecutive home games …Ailene Voisin

Examples of cellar dweller in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Red Sox, meanwhile, get Monday off before heading to Washington to face the NL East cellar dwellers for three games (Tuesday-Thursday). Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 13 Aug. 2023 The league has long been known for providing a friendly landscape for teams to reverse their fortunes in a single year, with at least one group going from cellar dweller to division champion on an almost annual basis. Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY, 21 June 2023 But after upsetting Pepperdine on Monday, the Toreros had a chance to fix that issue Thursday night against the WCC’s usual cellar dweller, Portland. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Jan. 2022 But a second-half collapse against the Sooners snowballed into a six-game losing streak, including an embarrassing loss to perennial Big 12 cellar dweller Kansas, that spoiled coach Steve Sarkisian’s first season in Austin. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cellar dweller.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cellar dweller was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near cellar dweller

Cite this Entry

“Cellar dweller.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cellar%20dweller. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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