variants or non-contender
plural noncontenders or non-contenders
: a competitor who is considered to have no real chance of winning something (such as a championship or an election)
The first round of the high school football playoffs generally is where the noncontenders—those teams with losing records that slid into the postseason as No. 4 seeds—quickly are weeded out.Chip Saye, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 19 Nov. 2010
Here's a vote for Minnesota's Gary Gaetti, often overlooked because he has been playing for a non-contender in a low–visibility market, as the league's best all-round third baseman.The Sporting News, 8 June 1987

Word History

First Known Use

1921, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of noncontender was in 1921

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near noncontender

Cite this Entry

“Noncontender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!