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

Definition of compete

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Maroon Tigers compete in the NCAA Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC). Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "Morehouse College cancels football season due to coronavirus concerns," 26 June 2020 The economic turmoil of the pandemic has raised the stakes, and the worry is that countries will compete for scarce supplies, seeking to protect their own populations. Randy Thanthong-knight,, "Thailand Says It’s on Track for Covid-19 Vaccine Human Trials," 26 June 2020 The Bearkats will compete with two new teams in league play for at least the next two school years. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Klein football puts strength and conditioning camp on hold in light of COVID-19," 26 June 2020 Especially to those who usually pack the Mobile Civic Center Theater each June to witness 50 of the country’s most stellar young women compete for tens of thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Michael Dumas, al, "Distinguished Young Women promises another spectacular show," 26 June 2020 I9ibbs will compete against 13 others for a chance to be the 12th and final seed in the eMLS Cup bracket on June 26. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "FIFA is a wildly popular game. Texas’ eMLS pros want to help its esports scene take the next step," 25 June 2020 The Gresham GreyWolves and West Linn Knights also will compete in the league. oregonlive, "Portland Pickles announce 2020 schedule, move games to Marion County to allow fans to attend," 25 June 2020 The Vantage can't compete head to head on price or performance. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, "2020 Aston Martin Vantage Coupe Is More Than Just a Beauty, It's an All-Around Charmer," 23 June 2020 For instance, beavers might compete with local species for food, and alter the flow of water in these habitats by building dams. Matt Simon, Wired, "Why the Arctic Is Warming So Fast, and Why That’s So Alarming," 23 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compete.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of compete

1620, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for compete

Time Traveler

The first known use of compete was in 1620

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Statistics for compete

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Compete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for compete


How to pronounce compete (audio)

English Language Learners 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


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

Kids Definition of compete

: to strive for something (as a prize or a reward) for which another is also striving

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More from Merriam-Webster on compete

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for compete

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with compete

Spanish Central: Translation of compete

Nglish: Translation of compete for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compete for Arabic Speakers

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