con·​tend·​er | \ kən-ˈten-dər How to pronounce contender (audio) \

Definition of contender

: one that contends especially : a competitor for a championship or high honor a heavyweight title contender the leading presidential contenders

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Examples of contender in a Sentence

There are several contestants, but only two real contenders. This latest defeat means that she's no longer a contender for the world title.
Recent Examples on the Web But there's another contender who may have more on the line Tuesday night than any other candidate: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Fox News, "Why New Hampshire may be the last stop for Elizabeth Warren's campaign: Pollsters break it down," 11 Feb. 2020 Without Ayton, Phoenix turned to a first-time starting lineup and played the Lakers tough in the first half, but ultimately succumbed to the championship contenders, 125-100, at STAPLES Center. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Deandre Ayton sits as Phoenix Suns hammered by Los Angeles Lakers," 10 Feb. 2020 But Liverpool and United had met privately with Dinnage, too, and after Howe was cast aside they also were given a chance to assess the next contender: David Pemsel, the chief executive of the Guardian Media Group. New York Times, "The Long Search to Fill Soccer’s Biggest, Toughest Job," 9 Feb. 2020 He’s also backed by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner over the two Bayou City contenders, Edwards and Bell. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Democratic U.S. Senate hopefuls need spark in sleepy primary race to challenge incumbent John Cornyn," 9 Feb. 2020 The Cavs also recognized that other contenders -- Boston, for one -- couldn’t get to Drummond’s salary number without significantly shaking up the roster. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Inside Cleveland Cavaliers’ trade for Andre Drummond, a player they’ve coveted for a while and consider a ‘long-term play’," 7 Feb. 2020 Both Buttigieg and Sanders are leading contenders there, as well. Steve Peoples, Anchorage Daily News, "Buttigieg and Sanders nearly tied with almost all results tallied in Iowa Democratic caucuses," 6 Feb. 2020 Sam Mendes' best picture contender, 1917, which had been approved for a release Feb. 21, has given up on those ambitions, sources close to China Film Group tell THR. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "China Releases for 'Dolittle,' '1917,' 'Jojo Rabbit' Canceled Amid Coronavirus Crisis," 4 Feb. 2020 In fifth place is a perennial contender, Pakistan. Filled with extremists and militants, host of Osama bin-Laden, and long-term Taliban ally, this country seems destined to be inhospitable to Christians and other religious minorities. Doug Bandow, National Review, "A New Ranking of Nations Where Christians Are Persecuted Most," 28 Jan. 2020

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

1547, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contender

contend + -er entry 2

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Time Traveler for contender

Time Traveler

The first known use of contender was in 1547

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Statistics for contender

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for contender


How to pronounce contender (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of contender

: a person who tries to win something in a contest especially : a person who has a good chance of winning


con·​tend·​er | \ kən-ˈten-dər How to pronounce contender (audio) \

Kids Definition of contender

: a person who is in competition with others

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