com·​pe·​ti·​tion | \ˌkäm-pə-ˈti-shən \

Definition of competition 

1 : the act or process of competing : rivalry: such as

a : the effort of two or more parties acting independently to secure the business of a third party by offering the most favorable terms contractors in competition for the contract to build the new school

b : active demand by two or more organisms or kinds of organisms for some environmental resource in short supply the interspecies competition for food

2 : a contest between rivals a gymnastics competition also : one's competitors faced tough competition

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for competition


challenger, competitor, contender, contestant, corrival, rival



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of competition in a Sentence

Prices are lower when there is competition among the stores. Don't let the competition know our trade secrets. They had a competition to see who could sell the most lemonade.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Now, only four teams — Belgium, Croatia, England and France — remain in the competition, and will play in the semifinals this week before the final in Moscow on July 15. Amie Ferris-rotman, Washington Post, "At World Cup, Russians embrace the world, one relationship at a time," 9 July 2018 An hour after the parade, nearly two dozen miniature cars took part in the competition, each with their own local sponsor and eye-catching paint job — tiger stripes, stars and bars, black flames. Brian Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, "Communities come together across San Antonio to celebrate the Fourth," 4 July 2018 The kitchen towel is no slouch in the icky competition, either. Ana Veciana-suarez, miamiherald, "A simple Google search turned me into a germophobe," 2 July 2018 For example, extensive licensing requirements have shielded many higher-earning occupations from competition from immigrants. The Economist, "Worker shortages could heal America’s economy," 12 July 2018 Total Knock Out, the new one-hour obstacle course competition series on CBS. Karen Mizoguchi,, "Kevin Hart Dares You 'Not to Laugh' Watching His New Obstacle-Course Show TKO: Total Knock Out," 11 July 2018 After retiring from competition, Winkler organized tournaments, worked as a consultant and started a marketing firm, HGW Marketing. Daniel E. Slotnik, New York Times, "Hans Günter Winkler, Olympic Champion Equestrian, Dies at 91," 11 July 2018 Haber made seven league appearances for Cincinnati and 10 across all competitions. Charlie Hatch,, "FC Cincinnati enters transfer window searching for MLS quality that could help win a 2018 USL Cup," 10 July 2018 Two things: Raise government revenue and protect domestic industries from foreign competition. Paul Wiseman And Christopher Rugaber,, "Trump's tariffs: What they are and how they will work," 9 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of competition

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for competition

Late Latin competition-, competitio, from Latin competere — see compete

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about competition

Share competition

Statistics for competition

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for competition

The first known use of competition was in 1579

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for competition



English Language Learners Definition of competition

: the act or process of trying to get or win something (such as a prize or a higher level of success) that someone else is also trying to get or win : the act or process of competing

: actions that are done by people, companies, etc., that are competing against each other

the competition : a person or group that you are trying to succeed against : a person or group that you are competing with


com·​pe·​ti·​tion | \ˌkäm-pə-ˈti-shən \

Kids Definition of competition

1 : the act or process of trying to get or win something others are also trying to get or win

2 : a contest in which all who take part strive for the same thing

3 : all of a person's competitors He beat the competition.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on competition

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!