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 is one big-name contender on the ballot: former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, who preceded Northam and served from 2014 to 2018. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, 8 June 2021 The national contender that either gets in OSU’s way by complicating the playoff picture or overwhelms everyone a la LSU in 2019. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 2 June 2021 If veteran free agent Richard Sherman, formerly of the 49ers, cannot find a spot with a contender, a reunion with Saleh remains a possibility. J.p. Pelzman, Forbes, 31 May 2021 After the San Diego Padres moved minor league talent through the offseason with eyes on being an MLB contender, San Antonio Missions manager Phillip Wellman entered 2021 with a roster light on Double-A experience. Greg Luca, San Antonio Express-News, 31 May 2021 Another limited series contender, The Underground Railroad, premiered on May 14, just two weeks before the eligibility period ended. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 27 May 2021 Colton Herta is among the most consistently competitive drivers in the series, a championship contender, and less than a month after his win at St. Pete his father negotiated a two-year contract extension for Colton at Andretti Autosport. Jenna Fryer, Star Tribune, 25 May 2021 In a state of remarkable recreation trails of varying adventure qualities, including the venerable Pinellas Trail, the mixed West Orange Trail and the dazzling Starkey wilderness trail, there’s a new contender for best of the bunch. Kevin Spear,, 21 May 2021 Here’s betting that another contender in the AR glasses race, which also includes Apple, Google, and Facebook, beats Snap to market. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, 21 May 2021

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

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Contender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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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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