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 Ducks are a strong contender for consensus five-star defensive end Korey Foreman, the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect, and remain a longshot threat for five-star defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau, out of Sammamish, Washington. oregonlive, "Keanu Williams, versatile 4-star defensive lineman, commits to Oregon Ducks over Stanford, USC," 12 July 2020 MLS Cup champion Atlanta United and the New York Red Bulls, a perennial title contender. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, "Here's the unique path FC Cincinnati had to take to the MLS Is Back Tournament," 11 July 2020 While Isaacs seems to be a strong contender, many on Twitter are going to bat for sleeper pick Colin O'Donoghue, who played Hook (a romantic lead in the show) in ABC's Once Upon a Time. Natalie Morin,, "It’s Time To Talk About The Hot Hook Discourse," 8 July 2020 The man known as Gamebred began his fighting career in the backyards of Florida before working his way up over 17 years to become a true contender. cleveland, "Jorge Masvidal makes UFC 251 on Fight Island a must-see," 6 July 2020 With Betts possibly leading off, the Dodgers are a strong contender to win the season-ending tug-of-war. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Who's on first? Helping MLB fans remember what's what as seasons closes in," 29 June 2020 In his quest to make Michigan football into a national title contender, Jim Harbaugh became an aggressive and innovative recruiter. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "How Jim Harbaugh's reputation as a miracle worker has slowly eroded at Michigan football," 29 June 2020 Colts emerged as a contender in Year 2 thanks, in large part, to Edgerrin James. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, "Ranking every Indianapolis Colts team: Nos. 6-10, Edgerrin James & playoff disappointments," 11 July 2020 Perhaps leading the pack in the MVP race after his team’s recent fury, Skyz has set the bar for top talent in the league on a contender. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Inaugural Call of Duty season closing in on finish line: Which teams are hot, and which players will determine final seeding?," 9 July 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

29 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 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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