an issue, plan, etc., that does not get or deserve to get under way.

1905–10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nonstarter (nɒnˈstɑːtə)
1.  a horse that fails to run in a race for which it has been entered
2.  a person or thing that is useless, has little chance of success, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
But requiring professors who teach similar courses to all use the same textbook
  would be a nonstarter.
But if you're going after poor people, recruiting kids from higher
  socioeconomic backgrounds is an obvious nonstarter.
Without specific information on the source or the target, though, the topic was
  a nonstarter.
They've long argued that cap-and-trade was a political nonstarter.
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