Someone who's a nonstarter never seems to succeed or achieve their goals. A baseball player who strikes out every single time he's up at bat is a nonstarter.

A political candidate who loses every election is a nonstarter, and an entrepreneur whose businesses keep failing is also a nonstarter. You can also use this word to describe a plan or idea that's just never going to work: "I can see why you'd want to bring your pony to school, but I think it's a nonstarter." The original meaning of nonstarter was a horse unable to run in a race at the last minute.

Definitions of nonstarter

n a person with a record of failing; someone who loses consistently

failure, loser, unsuccessful person
achiever, succeeder, success, winner
a person with a record of successes
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bankrupt, insolvent
someone who has insufficient assets to cover their debts
flash in the pan
someone who enjoys transient success but then fails
dud, flop, washout
someone who is unsuccessful
one at a disadvantage and expected to lose
Type of:
unfortunate, unfortunate person
a person who suffers misfortune

n a horse that fails to run in a race for which it has been entered

Type of:
bangtail, race horse, racehorse
a horse bred for racing

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