Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

compete

play
verb com·pete \kəm-ˈpēt\

Simple Definition of compete

  • : to try to get or win something (such as a prize or reward) that someone else is also trying to win : to try to be better or more successful than someone or something else

  • : to try to be noticed, accepted, or chosen over something else

Full Definition of compete

com·pet·edcom·pet·ing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to strive consciously or unconsciously for an objective (as position, profit, or a prize) :  be in a state of rivalry <competing teams> <companies competing for customers>

Examples of compete

  1. Thousands of applicants are competing for the same job.

  2. She competed against students from around the country.

  3. We are competing with companies that are twice our size.

  4. Did you compete in the track meet on Saturday?

  5. The radio and the television were both on, competing for our attention.



Origin of compete

Late Latin competere to seek together, from Latin, to come together, agree, be suitable, from com- + petere to go to, seek — more at feather


First Known Use: 1620




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up compete? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 5, 2016

bread traditionally eaten on Shabbat

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift duvet kittly-benders pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ