con·tend·er | \kən-ˈten-dər \

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

Italian side Inter looked to be the leading contenders to land Malcom's signature, but their interest has diminished following Bordeaux's £45m valuation of the Brazilian., "Spurs Said to Be Leading the Race to Land Highly Rated Bordeaux Winger This Summer," 10 July 2018 Notre Dame might not be title contenders this season after losing so many important players from last year’s 10-3 team. Laken Litman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: 5 players who will impact Notre Dame football's 2018 season," 10 July 2018 July will bring plenty of trade rumors as the Phillies prove to be contenders for a playoff spot. Matt Breen,, "Phillies climb atop NL East with blowout win over Pirates," 6 July 2018 Fifth-year senior Drew Eckels, redshirt sophomore Steven Duncan and redshirt freshman Davis Shanley are the contenders for the job. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville football can (and can't) beat Western Kentucky," 4 July 2018 So, yes, the L.A. Lakers will be contenders again soon thanks to LeBron choosing them. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "How good can Detroit Pistons be in the East post-LeBron James?," 3 July 2018 Mychal Thompson, who won back-to-back titles with the Lakers in 1987-88, said the Lakers aren’t quite title contenders yet. Broderick Turner,, "NBA legends understand the stars are about to align with LeBron now part of the Lakers," 2 July 2018 Along with veterans Jonas Valanciunas, C.J. Miles and Serge Ibaka, the Raptors should be East contenders – if that’s the direction president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri wants to go. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "LeBron James' exit leaves Celtics, 76ers as favorites in wide-open Eastern Conference," 2 July 2018 The franchise has been tied up in red tape and financial doubt for years, essentially, and yet the club has been rebuilding through the draft and free agency to eventually put itself in position to be contenders. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Why Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet decided he had to tear down a wall to rebuild team," 29 June 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

10 Oct 2018

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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 \

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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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