non·​start·​er | \ ˌnän-ˈstär-tər How to pronounce nonstarter (audio) \

Definition of nonstarter

1 : one that does not start
2 : someone or something that is not productive or effective his son has been, in politics a nonstarter— Anthony Lejeune

Examples of nonstarter in a Sentence

She's the leading scorer among the team's nonstarters.

Recent Examples on the Web

President Donald Trump has long demanded $5 billion for the construction of a wall (or other barrier) along the US-Mexico border, a proposal that is a nonstarter with Democrats, who Trump needs in order to pass a bill in the Senate. Li Zhou, Vox, "Wednesday is day 5 of a partial government shutdown. It could go on for a while.," 26 Dec. 2018 Didn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to figure out that would be a nonstarter with a Democratic Congress. Neil Swidey,, "How Democrats would be better off if Bill Clinton had never been president," 10 July 2018 Indeed, a House GOP source said Trump was asking for wall money to be included in any standalone legislation keeping families together — a nonstarter for many lawmakers. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Why the GOP Might Face More Humiliation on Immigration," 2 July 2018 For me, watching a movie, television show or any other media on a small-screen smartphone is unacceptable, and having to download the airline’s app makes this a nonstarter., "Letters: Here's an easy way to make a San Diego bike trip even easier," 1 July 2018 That’s a nonstarter for a player who was a healthy inactive in four of the final seven games last year and has had multiple injury problems. Jeff Zrebiec,, "Ravens news, notes and opinions on Breshad Perriman, draft talk and the ones who got away," 3 May 2018 In other words, the effort by Senate Democrats to push back on the FCC’s move is, barring a political miracle, a nonstarter. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "The Republicans had Obamacare. The Democrats have net neutrality.," 16 Jan. 2018 For a girl far too concerned about the appearance of things, the headband was a nonstarter. Liz Mcdaniel, Vogue, "I Love My Husband— I Didn’t Always Love His Headband," 4 Feb. 2019 This would probably be a nonstarter for both Washington and Seoul, regardless of whether Pyongyang were truly prepared to give up its nuclear weapons in exchange. Patricia Kim, Washington Post, "The 3 big obstacles to success if Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un meet," 11 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonstarter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nonstarter

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for nonstarter

Last Updated

19 May 2019

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The first known use of nonstarter was in 1865

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English Language Learners Definition of nonstarter

informal : someone or something that will not be effective or successful
US, sports : a player who is not chosen to play at the beginning of games : a player who is not one of the starters on a team

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