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

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 ads never explicitly endorse another candidate, but Kleefisch’s leading contender in the race for the Republican nomination for governor is Michels. Ben Kamisar, NBC News, 8 Aug. 2022 Though his contract demands are extraordinary, any contender would be crazy not to want him. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, 28 July 2022 Another top contender is Stephanie Case, a 40-year-old Canadian runner who lives in Chamonix, France, and regularly trains in massive mountains and races in some of the most grueling ultras. Brian Metzler, Outside Online, 15 July 2022 Every single contender was a PGA Tour member who has grinded through the grueling schedule this year and qualified for a major championship that prides itself on requiring players to earn their spot. Jason Mastrodonato, Hartford Courant, 20 June 2022 The lead contender in a four-way race for the Republican nomination is former Maryland commerce secretary Kelly Schulz. Erin Cox, Washington Post, 19 June 2022 The former Democratic presidential contender is on a swing through the Midwest. Chicago Tribune, 17 June 2022 One smaller return contender this year is Valley Fiber headquartered in Winkler, Manitoba, sticking to seventh place despite an excellent increase from 128.9 to 223.2 PSI. PCMAG, 17 June 2022 Our favorite contender is Oars + Alps Natural Deodorant California Coast. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of contender

1547, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contender

contend + -er entry 2

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The first known use of contender was in 1547

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Statistics for contender

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Contender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for contender


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

Kids Definition of contender

: a person who is in competition with others

More from Merriam-Webster on contender

Nglish: Translation of contender for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contender for Arabic Speakers


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