from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun One who achieves unexpected support and success as a political candidate, typically during a party's convention.
- noun A little-known, unexpectedly successful entrant, as in a horserace.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun idiomatic, politics A
candidatewho is nominatedunexpectedly, without previously having been discussed or considered as a likely choice.
- noun rare An unexpected
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun a political candidate who is not well known but could win unexpectedly
- noun a racehorse about which little is known
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Originally an allusion to an unknown horse winning a race, as used in an 1831 novel The Young Duke by Benjamin Disraeli.
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