: extremely low in quality or value : worse than second-rate
third-rate hotels
a third-rate novelist
third-rater noun

Examples of third-rate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This all works because there are limits to how convincingly architects can dress up an aging, third-rate office block for continued use as a workplace. Curbed, 24 Jan. 2024 This may sound like an insult, and in fact many of the finest Mason paintings are very close to the third-rate ones. Jackson Arn, The New Yorker, 17 Jan. 2024 Fifty years later, Hamas is a third-rate militia compared with Syrian and Egyptian forces, let alone Israel’s sophisticated Army and arsenal. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, 9 Oct. 2023 As a business owner, I'm infuriated by your third-rate vice signalling that complicates efforts to bring business and talent here. Jenny Porter Tilley, The Indianapolis Star, 10 Aug. 2023 Putin’s rise followed years of Russian economic collapse and the bloody Chechen war, a time in which Russia descended to the level of a third-rate power. Soner Cagaptay, Foreign Affairs, 29 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'third-rate.' 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

1814, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of third-rate was in 1814

Dictionary Entries Near third-rate

Cite this Entry

“Third-rate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/third-rate. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: of third quality or value
especially : worse than second-rate
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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