9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ruhn-er-uhp] /ˈrʌn ərˈʌp/
noun, plural runners-up.
the competitor, player, or team finishing in second place, as in a race, contest, or tournament.
runners-up, the competitors who do not win a contest but who place ahead of the majority of the contestants and share in prizes or honors, as those who place second, third, and fourth, or in the top ten.
Origin of runner-up
1835-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for runner-up
  • There will be one grand prize winner and four runner-up winners.
  • But he has twice been the runner-up, churning out hits at a rate few have ever matched.
  • Only the winner is announced, not the runner-up or the margin of victory.
  • Blue is the best, yellow a first runner-up, and red indicates a trip to the office.
  • The runner-up explanation is an even stranger view of reality.
British Dictionary definitions for runner-up


noun (pl) runners-up
a contestant finishing a race or competition in second place
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for runner-up

1842, originally in dog racing, "dog that loses only the final race;" see runner + up. General sense is from 1885.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Difficulty index for runner-up

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for runner

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Quotes with runner-up