Consider the following sentence

Team A defeated team B by a large margin

How can I succinctly express that in the end, one opponent scored a lot more than the other?

I thought of easily and effortlessly, but they imply that team A did not have to work hard to win over team B.

Drub, annihilate and thrash are rather vehement and I'd rather not use them.

Is there a word that can describe the sentiment that the margin of victory was large without undermining the effort of either teams?

  • One option is to replace "by a large margin" with "soundly"; this is a common form of expression in U.S. sports pages. – Sven Yargs Apr 18 '15 at 7:02
  • ... or 'comprehensively'. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 18 '15 at 10:28
  • 1
    "In a landslide victory..." – Dan Bron Apr 18 '15 at 10:31
  • Or, just "...by a landslide". (Although, you're only saving a couple of letters.) – Oldbag Apr 18 '15 at 12:28

Sportscasters use a panoply of colorful synonyms for winning, losing, effort, margin, etc. The best resource for American idioms would be to listen to radio commentary for a football or baseball game.

Having said that, here are a few ideas:

  • a runaway win (implies the winning team steadily or rapidly increased its lead throughout the game. (for instance, in each or most of the periods of the game—quarters for basketball or football; innings for baseball.) The phrase comes from horseracing, where the winning horse literally runs away from the rest.

  • not even close

  • it was no contest (the losing team was hopelessly outmatched by the winners)

  • decisively defeated (the margin was enough that nobody could claim the losers just had a bad break or two — e.g. a bad call by a referee)

  • {clearly/readily/obviously} overpowered them

  • it was a blowout

  • [team X] won in a romp

  • [team X] blew [team Y] away

  • [team X] ran up the score Implies that for the latter part of the game, the losers scored little, if at all, while the winners scored many times. "The Chargers ran up the score in the fourth quarter."

  • it was a slugfest for Team X (Baseball only): Team X made lots of base hits, often homers, scoring many points throughout the game (don't just say "it was a slugfest", as this means both teams made lots of base hits, regardless who won.)

  • it was a shutout This means the losers scored NO points (fairly common in baseball or soccer, and not unheard-of in high school or college football) . However, it can be a shutout even if the winners won by a narrow margin, so you'd have to further specify, e.g. decisive shutout, runaway shutout)

Of course, the most colorful ones, as you noted, tend toward the violent, as they are based on a metaphor of military or hand-to-hand combat.

clobbered,walloped, whipped, gave them a shellacking, destroyed them, walked all over them, made mincemeat of them, wiped the floor with them, killed them, throttled them (held losers to much fewer points than they usually make), pulverized them, stomped them, etc. ad infinitum

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.