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 senators usually spoken of as contenders for the party’s presidential nomination in 2020—Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders—have all endorsed some or part of this. The Economist, "Fork in the roadShould the party move to the left or to the centre?," 12 July 2018 Several contenders need closers, Iglesias has a team-friendly contract. Paul Daugherty,, "Morning Line: Baseball is all about adjusting. So, adjust to the adjustment.," 10 July 2018 One such contender is Carmen Rivera, 26, who honed her skills at The Row and Alexander Wang before teaming up with her mother’s college roommate, Dalia Stiller, a Puerto Rican architect with a problem. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Introducing Usonia, a New Post-Philo Dress Label Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright," 1 Feb. 2019 Unlike most 2020 contenders, Ms. Klobuchar hasn’t parroted lefty slogans. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Case for Amy Klobuchar," 10 Feb. 2019 Other podium contenders across the snowboarding events include American Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson, American Olympian Julia Marino, and American X Games medalist Hailey Langland, says Reed. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "The 2019 Winter X Games Starts This Week—Here’s What You Need to Know," 23 Jan. 2019 There’s no Oscar for best apartment makeover, but if there were, 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby would be our top contender. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Summer Thornton's Transformation Of This Chicago Apartment Will Make Your Jaw Drop," 9 Jan. 2019 The Voice fans were crushed when some of their favorite contenders went home after the semifinals, with only four of the eight artists moving on to the finals. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'The Voice' Fans Think MaKenzie Thomas Was Eliminated Because of a Typo," 12 Dec. 2018 But last year, publisher Next Move Games introduced another contender to the throne: Azul, a puzzle-y abstract game about drafting and laying beautiful bakelite tiles. Aaron Zimmerman, Ars Technica, "Abstract board games are all the rage—and Reef is the year’s best," 17 Nov. 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

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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