According to the Naver Korean dictionary, 연패(連覇) means “to be the champion in a row” and 연패(連敗) means “to lose in a row”. So they are absolutely identical in appearance but have completely opposite meanings. Are there any ways like in pronunciation or context to tell which meaning the following sentence has?

우리 팀은 이 대회에서 3연패를 기록했다.
(A) We lost three times in a row in this competition.
(B) We were the champions three times in a row in this competition.

For example, 연전연패 must mean “to lose continuously”.

  • 3연패를 기록했다 is it common to officially record X losses in a row? My impression is that X-in-a-row is usually recorded for a winning side against a losing side, or a winning streak in a season/tournament. I'd be inclined to choose (B).
    – dROOOze
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 7:03
  • As a native, it was a same problem for me.
    – HK Lee
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 1:02

2 Answers 2


Not always,

The 연패(losing streak) is often used in 'games'

ex) match35, match 36, match 37..

The 연패(champion in a row) is often used in 'competitions'.

ex) premierleague , champions league ...

Because of the difficulty of classification, We write 연승 instead of 연패(champion in a row)

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