I am looking for a word that expresses the meaning of the phrase "temporarily defeated" in a mild manner. This is to be applied on someone whose bid got displaced by a higher bidder in an auction that has not yet ended.

The <temporarily defeated> bidder...
  • 3
    Why not outbid or overbid? Apr 13, 2014 at 12:26
  • Because I am looking for an adjective to describe the person. The <outbid> bidder... certainly doesn't sound right. Apr 14, 2014 at 2:26
  • I suggest vice-president! Jan 12, 2022 at 9:49

7 Answers 7


Perhaps trailing

(intransitive) to be falling behind in a race or competition: the favourite is trailing at the last fence

It has the advantage of suggesting that a rally may occur.


In this instance, you could use "overtaken"

The overtaken bidder

Which means that someone else out-bid them, but that they still could retake their place as the highest bidder.


o·ver·take [oh-ver-teyk]

verb (used with object), o·ver·took, o·ver·tak·en, o·ver·tak·ing.

  1. to catch up with in traveling or pursuit; draw even with: By taking a cab to the next town, we managed to overtake and board the train.
  2. to catch up with and pass, as in a race; move by: He overtook the leader three laps from the finish.
  3. to move ahead of in achievement, production, score, etc.; surpass: to overtake all other countries in steel production.
  4. to happen to or befall someone suddenly or unexpectedly, as night, a storm, or death: The pounding rainstorm overtook them just outside the city.

verb (used without object), o·ver·took, o·ver·tak·en, o·ver·tak·ing.

  1. to pass another vehicle: Never overtake on a curve.

A temporary setback, might suggest a sort of pause in the bidding .. With the bidder going to come back more resolute.

  • Setback was my choice too.
    – moonstar
    Apr 13, 2014 at 15:00

In this specific case the bidder was outbid, an easy phrase to use in most situations like this is the word passed.

The largest auction site in the world uses outbid for temporarily falling behind.

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frustrated I think, has that sense of being an ongoing condition of being kept from one's objective.


My favorite would be:

Preempt: to take the place of (something).

It's in common use referring to resource competitions (like bidding).


Supplant: to take the place of and serve as a substitute for especially by reason of superior excellence or power.

I feel like "supplant" emphasizes more the action of taking the place after conquering (rather than the process of vying for it as in preemption.)

It would be a bit figurative but you could also say




which both refer specifically to removing people from positions of power.


Before knowing your context was bidding and not life, I was going to say:

setback (n.) or set back (v.)

Hadn't not noticed @Josh61 previously posted that.

But in the context of being currently outbid:

currently outbid (yes it's two words) or trailing

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