contest

verb
con·​test | \ kən-ˈtest How to pronounce contest (audio) , ˈkän-ˌtest How to pronounce contest (audio) \
contested; contesting; contests

Definition of contest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: strive, vie contested for power

transitive verb

: to make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation especially : dispute, challenge The deceased's relatives are contesting his will.

contest

noun
con·​test | \ ˈkän-ˌtest How to pronounce contest (audio) \

Definition of contest (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a struggle for superiority or victory : competition a football contest between rival teams
2 : a competition in which each contestant performs without direct contact with or interference from competitors He won the contest for best photograph.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from contest

Verb

contestable \ kən-​ˈte-​stə-​bəl How to pronounce contestable (audio) \ adjective
contester noun

Examples of contest in a Sentence

Verb

She plans to contest a seat in Congress next year. Both candidates have agreed to another debate before this hotly contested election.

Noun

Contest winners receive a cash prize. Will you enter the contest? She hopes to win the contest for mayor. Democrats and Republicans are engaged in a contest for control of the House of Representatives.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At the same time, there are two dozen House Republicans up for re-election in districts Clinton won — and Democrats plan to contest many more than that. NBC News, "Endangered House GOP members can't run from Trump fast enough. In the Senate, it's different.," 6 May 2018 Few issues are as hotly contested as what women should wear to the office. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "This Season’s Must-Have Accessory Is Already on Your Desk," 28 Mar. 2019 And then, buried deep within it, is this paragraph: WHEREAS, At the same time that Gritty brings people together, the divisions in our current political and cultural life have rendered Gritty contested territory. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Gritty’s evolution from googly-eyed hockey mascot to meme to leftist avatar, explained," 24 Dec. 2018 Carton’s recruitment was one of the most highly contested in the Midwest. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "5-star basketball prospect D.J. Carton picks Ohio State over Michigan," 14 July 2018 Some wonder, however, how a PGA Championship contested in May will impact the selection of venues. Edgar Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "PGA sets schedule, officially reinstates true Florida Swing," 10 July 2018 Once upon a time, there was a rumor of a rift between Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson (which, decades later, Fergie is still contesting), and more recently, between Markle and Kate Middleton. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra Is Not Here for Those Meghan Markle Feud Rumors," 25 Mar. 2019 Mountain biking will be contested later in the afternoon for the same reason. Stephen Wade, The Seattle Times, "Bach and IOC: No Olympic city ever as ready as Tokyo," 5 Dec. 2018 Ocasio-Cortez now looks to be on her way to Congress, running in a district that gave 78 percent of its vote to Hillary Clinton and that Republicans aren't seriously contesting. David Weigel, chicagotribune.com, "Meet Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: The 28-year-old socialist who challenged the Democratic Party's establishment and won," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Entering the contest is the easiest part—and helps the surrounding community. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Here's How You Can Stay In Cinderella's Castle in Disney For Free," 28 Mar. 2019 In some parts of the United States, birling contests are annual events. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Lost Art of Floating Logs Down the River," 16 Feb. 2019 The new law comes as the 2020 presidential contest begins to take shape, with Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey announcing last week his plan to compete in the Democratic primary next year. Mike Catalini, The Seattle Times, "New Jersey becomes 4th state to approve $15 hourly wage," 5 Feb. 2019 But will their mutual affection be an asset or a liability as the presidential contest escalates? Danielle Mcnally, Marie Claire, "Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand Play 'How Well Do You Know Your Co-Worker?'," 15 Jan. 2019 The contest had just been a ploy for attention — and plenty of bargaining power. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Amazon," 27 Dec. 2018 The contest was part of the annual Kolache Olympics, which is sponsored every year by The Kolache Factory, a national bakery chain. Julian Gill, Houston Chronicle, "Katy father of two wins coveted prize for kolache creation," 13 July 2018 But for the sports world, that contest is just the first domino. Jacob Feldman, SI.com, "Five Potential Buyers for Fox's 22 Regional Sports Networks," 12 July 2018 The contest will be the first time fans will see the team compete in almost a month, and could help further the team’s plan to build a vast new audience. Courtney Becker, Philly.com, "Philadelphia Fusion esports team makes the Overwatch playoffs. Is this the start of a billion-dollar industry?," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of contest

Verb

1603, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for contest

Verb and Noun

Middle French contester, from Latin contestari (litem) to bring an action at law, from contestari to call to witness, from com- + testis witness — more at testament

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about contest

Statistics for contest

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contest

The first known use of contest was in 1603

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for contest

contest

verb

English Language Learners Definition of contest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make (something) the subject of an argument or a legal case : to say that you do not agree with or accept (something)
: to try to win (something)
: to struggle or fight for or against something

contest

noun

English Language Learners Definition of contest (Entry 2 of 2)

: an event in which people try to win by doing something better than others
: a struggle or effort to win or get something

contest

noun
con·​test | \ ˈkän-ˌtest How to pronounce contest (audio) \

Kids Definition of contest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a struggle for victory : competition a pie baking contest

contest

verb
con·​test | \ kən-ˈtest How to pronounce contest (audio) \
contested; contesting

Kids Definition of contest (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (something) a cause of dispute or fighting They will contest a claim to the fortune.

contest

transitive verb
con·​test | \ kən-ˈtest How to pronounce contest (audio) \

Legal Definition of contest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to dispute or challenge through legal procedures contest a will

contest

noun
con·​test | \ ˈkän-ˌtest How to pronounce contest (audio) \

Legal Definition of contest (Entry 2 of 2)

: a challenge brought through formal or legal procedures boundary controversies or other contests between states— Felix Frankfurter specifically : will contest — see also no contest clause

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on contest

What made you want to look up contest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!