Definition of wooden spoon in English:

wooden spoon

noun

British
  • An imaginary prize said to be awarded to the person who is last in a race or other competition:

    ‘they finished with the wooden spoon after losing a penalty shoot-out’
    • ‘The performance of both sides was very much that of two teams desperate to avoid the wooden spoon.’
    • ‘If Casino want to avoid the wooden spoon they will need to pick up some additional players to strengthen their list.’
    • ‘Keith Wood joked after the match that it was nice to see someone else picking up the wooden spoon for a change.’
    • ‘If York win at the Thunderdome, Gateshead will remain bottom of the NFP and face a huge task to avoid the wooden spoon.’
    • ‘Before the season started the Scots fans were probably eyeing Rome as a wooden spoon decider and so it was, but not for Scotland.’
    • ‘Until then, they will need every last scrap if they are to hamper Ireland in Rome on Sunday and avoid the wooden spoon.’
    • ‘The ceremony is also to include the award of a wooden spoon for the worst performer in the parliament.’
    • ‘At the end, a grinning Italian fan had presented Kirwan with a battered wooden spoon.’
    • ‘Everyone is waiting for them to meet head-to-head to sort out whose name gets inscribed on the wooden spoon.’
    • ‘Graham and the team have now been presented with a wooden spoon booby prize for their efforts.’
    • ‘After all, last year was a true wooden spoon with losses all the way, so this is a good guide to see how far we have come.’
    • ‘None of them topped any of our tables, nor did any finish consistently well, with the silvers, bronzes and wooden spoons shared out fairly evenly.’
    • ‘Yorkshire will be keen to avoid the wooden spoon and victory in Whitehaven would see them finish as runners-up.’
    • ‘The last two Grand Slams were followed by a wooden spoon and that outcome is not entirely out the question this year.’
    • ‘It's one thing beating Italy and Scotland, who are competing for the wooden spoon.’
    • ‘A finish anywhere above the wooden spoon position, he believes, would be a decent start.’
    • ‘These are then followed by a wooden spoon final, a third and fourth place off and the grand final.’
    • ‘They were the favourites for the wooden spoon before the season started but they've recorded two wins from their first four games.’
    • ‘For Scotland, avoiding the wooden spoon has been achieved already, and winning the title is impossible.’
    • ‘We need to win it to avoid a wooden spoon and to rescue our season, they need to win it to win a Grand Slam.’

Origin

A spoon made of wood was formerly given to the candidate coming last in the Cambridge mathematical tripos.

Pronunciation

wooden spoon