con·​tend·​er kən-ˈten-dər How to pronounce contender (audio)
: one that contends
especially : a competitor for a championship or high honor
a heavyweight title contender
the leading presidential contenders

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 Italy has been a regular contender for the international feature Oscar since the 1940s, having won the award 14 times — the most of any country. Rebecca Jarvis, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Nov. 2023 The other Republican who had a seat at the head table for last summer’s gun negotiations is one of minority leader Mitch McConnell’s top lieutenants, John Cornyn of Texas—a leading contender for replacing the ailing GOP leader in the Senate—who shrugs off CDC gun violence research. Matt Laslo, WIRED, 30 Nov. 2023 In the corporate tussle for cloud dominance, Google Cloud, a contender in the cloud computing arena, orchestrated a savvy advertising gambit during Amazon Web Services' (AWS) annual re:Invent conference. Johan Moreno, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 And its selections should provide an important look at which films are viable contenders for big awards. Clayton Davis, Variety, 29 Nov. 2023 The hoped-for Chinese economic rebound is a good contender for this year’s biggest disappointment. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 29 Nov. 2023 The film was directed by Sam Wrench, who received a Grammy nomination late last year for directing Billie Eilish Live at the O2, which was a contender for best music film. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 27 Nov. 2023 The Ohio State Buckeyes visit the Michigan Wolverines and the winner will be a strong contender to play for a national championship. James Freeman, WSJ, 24 Nov. 2023 Tommy Hilfiger turtleneck is a great contender for your winter wardrobe. Alyssa Brascia, Peoplemag, 24 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


contend + -er entry 2

First Known Use

1547, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of contender was in 1547

Dictionary Entries Near contender

Cite this Entry

“Contender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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