com·​pet·​i·​tive | \kəm-ˈpe-tə-tiv \

Definition of competitive 

1 : relating to, characterized by, or based on competition competitive sports a competitive marketplace

2 : inclined, desiring, or suited to compete a competitive personality competitive interest rates

3 : depending for effectiveness on the relative concentration of two or more substances competitive inhibition of an enzyme

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Other Words from competitive

competitively adverb
competitiveness noun

Examples of competitive in a Sentence

She is a very competitive player. You need a degree to be competitive in today's job market.

Recent Examples on the Web

As scholars of parties have pointed out, presidents cannot run competitive primary contests without the enthusiasm, shoe leather, and money offered by organized interests and issue enthusiasts. Charles Cameron, Vox, "The litmus test for a Supreme Court nominee," 5 July 2018 Pininfarina's long history and new owner give it a solid shot at forcing its way into a competitive market. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Pininfarina's Back With a $2 Million Electric Hypercar," 14 July 2018 Shiru’s success highlights the manifold ways that companies can ride the flood of consumer data — whether to sell consumers a product or, in the case of Shiru, to find workers in a competitive labor market. Graham Ambrose,, "Free coffee — with a catch — is coming to Massachusetts," 14 July 2018 In New York, where inventory of new condominiums is at its highest in a decade, a competitive market has pushed brokers from their traditional spot behind the curtain to center stage. Amy Gamerman, WSJ, "Like Your Apartment’s Design? Thank Your Agent," 12 July 2018 That’s how things are supposed to work: Businesses pay more to attract workers in a tighter, more competitive market for labor. Michael Hiltzik,, "Employers will do almost anything to find workers to fill jobs — except pay them more," 10 July 2018 It is said that pressure from the player, who seemingly does not wish to wait any longer for his big move, and from the competitive transfer market in general could force Barça into action., "Barcelona Tipped to Move for Ajax Talent Frenkie de Jong 12 Months Earlier Than Expected," 29 June 2018 McSally is locked in a competitive Republican primary for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Prison company detaining immigrants has helped McSally, others in GOP," 22 June 2018 The figures underscore Chanel’s leading position in the increasingly competitive global luxury market. Elizabeth Paton, New York Times, "Chanel Publishes Annual Results for First Time in 108 Years," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'competitive.' 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 competitive

1829, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for competitive

see competition

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Statistics for competitive

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for competitive

The first known use of competitive was in 1829

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English Language Learners Definition of competitive

: of or relating to a situation in which people or groups are trying to win a contest or be more successful than others : relating to or involving competition

: having a strong desire to win or be the best at something

: as good as or better than others of the same kind : able to compete successfully with others


com·​pet·​i·​tive | \kəm-ˈpe-tə-tiv \

Kids Definition of competitive

: characterized by or based on a situation in which more than one person is striving for the same thing competitive sports


com·​pet·​i·​tive | \kəm-ˈpet-ət-iv \

Medical Definition of competitive 

: depending for effectiveness on the relative concentration of two or more substances competitive inhibition of an enzyme competitive protein binding

Other Words from competitive

competitively adverb

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Comments on competitive

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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