Pronunciation: (ôl'sō-ran"),[key] —n. 1. Sports. a. (in a race) a contestant who fails to win or to place among the first three finishers.
b. an athlete or team whose performance in competition is rarely, if ever, a winning or near-winning one.
2. Informal.a person who loses a contest, election, or other competition.
3. Informal.a person who attains little or no success: For every great artist there are a thousand also-rans.