com·​pete kəm-ˈpēt How to pronounce compete (audio)
competed; competing

intransitive verb

: to strive consciously or unconsciously for an objective (such as position, profit, or a prize) : be in a state of rivalry
competing teams
companies competing for customers

Examples of compete in a Sentence

Thousands of applicants are competing for the same job. She competed against students from around the country. We are competing with companies that are twice our size. Did you compete in the track meet on Saturday? The radio and the television were both on, competing for our attention.
Recent Examples on the Web Key Background Since 2019, Walmart has announced a number of initiatives to break into the advertising space to compete with Amazon and other big retailers. Cailey Gleeson, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 Samsung, Vizio, LG and Hisense are among the TV makers that have been aggressively investing in the space, with other players seeking to launch their own TV sets to compete. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Feb. 2024 The streaming service has failed to compete in the four years since, and the company reported $1 billion in losses in 2023, forcing Redstone to shop around her controlling stake for a quickly diminishing value. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 20 Feb. 2024 Getting Discover, which also issues its own credit cards, under the same roof as Capital One would give the bank a major leg up against competing credit card-issuing banks such as JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C), which don’t process transactions themselves. Elisabeth Buchwald, CNN, 19 Feb. 2024 Add to that the other three categories in which the film is competing tonight, and this award show could be very promising for the entire cast. Lorena Meouchi, Glamour, 18 Feb. 2024 Related Articles It’s been reported that the original purpose of this first Corvette was to show the world that Chevrolet and GM knew how to build good-looking sporty cars to compete with some of the European manufacturers after World War II. David Krumboltz, The Mercury News, 18 Feb. 2024 In District 83, Grant Campbell and Brad Jenkins are competing for the Republican nomination. Mary Ramsey, Charlotte Observer, 8 Feb. 2024 To not compete while performing, but to complement the culture and compliment the music by sharing our artistry with the audience, versus trying to outshine each other. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 8 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'compete.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of compete was in 1620

Dictionary Entries Near compete

Cite this Entry

“Compete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


com·​pete kəm-ˈpēt How to pronounce compete (audio)
competed; competing
: to strive for something (as a prize or reward) for which another is also striving : contest

More from Merriam-Webster on compete

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