a prohibitive Super Bowl favorite

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Shandol

Senior Member
Persian
Hi,
prohibitive (adj): [3] (North American English) (of a person taking part in an election or a competition) extremely likely to win.
- Miami began the day a prohibitive Super Bowl favorite.
<Oxford Learners Dictionary>

I have never seen or heard this meaning of the word <prohibitive> before and after a quick search I realized that other dictionaries are not familiar with it either. Does it work for you?
Thanks.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Yes, it's fairly common. The idea is that the odds that they will win are so high as to prohibit a reasonable person from betting against them.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I haven't heard it before. Like Mnemon, I had no idea what it meant.
    It goes back (in printed books) to at least the first decade of the twentieth century, but it's sports / political jargon, so perhaps "common" (outside those fields) is a stretch.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's very common in sports in my experience and I'm guessing probably politics, too, but I haven't followed that for awhile.

    There are 46 examples in the COCA database. Here are one of each.

    Sports: He will be the prohibitive favorite when the Masters (golf tournament) begins Thursday.

    Politics: (Discussion about Hillary Clinton) Remember, she was the prohibitive favorite in '08.

    Added:

    From Merriam-Webster:
    3. almost certain to perform as predicted
    a prohibitive favorite

    From the American Heritage dictionary, Free Dictionary, and YourDictionary
    3. So likely to win as to discourage competition: the prohibitive favorite to win the nomination.
     
    Last edited:

    Shandol

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Thank you all.
    From Merriam-Webster:
    3. almost certain to perform as predicted
    a prohibitive favorite

    From the American Heritage dictionary, Free Dictionary, and YourDictionary
    3. So likely to win as to discourage competition: the prohibitive favorite to win the nomination.
    When I said,
    after a quick search I realized that other dictionaries are not familiar with it either.
    I meant Longman, Macmillan and Lexico dictionaries.
     
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