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

The possibility of pairing All-NBA center Nikola Jokic with Anthony Davis was enticing and could’ve potentially vaulted Denver into the upper echelon of title contenders next season. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Nuggets considered Anthony Davis trade but decided he wasn’t worth the cost," 16 June 2019 Nineteen candidates are vying for the presidential vote, but because none of the contenders is expected to win a majority, a runoff between two top candidates is projected for August. Giulia Mcdonnell Nieto Del Rio,, "Guatemalans vote in L.A. for their country’s presidential election, a historic first," 16 June 2019 But in the almost five months since, Harris’ poll numbers have fallen and the media spotlight shifted to other contenders. Casey Tolan, The Mercury News, "Kamala Harris drops in the polls as Democratic rivals grab the spotlight," 15 June 2019 Drake is, without question, one of the few players already on the team who could be a major contributor to the next playoff contender in Miami. Michael Beller,, "Fantasy Football: David Johnson, Kenyan Drake Among Early 2019 Bounceback Candidates," 14 June 2019 Keuchel and McHugh had been Astros teammates for six seasons and led Houston's rotation during the franchise's emergence from losers to contenders. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' Collin McHugh glad Dallas Keuchel finally signed with Braves," 7 June 2019 Everyone from Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood, to 2020 Democratic contender Elizabeth Warren are speaking out about the dangerous consequences for women. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Alabama's Abortion Ban Bill Is Frightening and Outraging Women Everywhere," 15 May 2019 Here’s Glamour’s cheat sheet to the White House contenders. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Who’s In and Who’s Out of the 2020 Presidential Race—So Far," 3 Jan. 2019 Ziegler appears the most likely to be dealt to a playoff contender, especially after his recent resurgence since a demotion from the closer’s role. Matthew Defranks,, "As trade deadline nears for Marlins, team won't 'do anything rash, nothing emotional,' Michael Hill says," 11 July 2018

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

see contend

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Statistics for contender

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for contender

The first known use of contender was in 1547

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More Definitions for contender



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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Comments on contender

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


to take the place or position of

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