con·​tes·​tant | \ kən-ˈte-stənt also ˈkän-ˌte- How to pronounce contestant (audio) \

Definition of contestant

1 : one that participates in a contest
2 : one that contests an award or decision

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for contestant


challenger, competition, competitor, contender, corrival, rival



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of contestant in a Sentence

The contestant who catches the most fish wins. The winning contestants will receive a cash prize.

Recent Examples on the Web

Astrid Loch Astrid Loch was a contestant on Nick Viall’s season of The Bachelor in 2017. De Elizabeth, Glamour, "For The Bachelor Contestants, Is Finding Love and Spon-Con Deals Worth the Trolls?," 9 May 2019 Miss North Carolina Cheslie Kryst was mobbed by her fellow contestants after her name was announced as the winner during the competition in the Grand Theatre in the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. National Desk, oregonlive, "Miss USA 2019 crowned; winner is lawyer who provided free legal aid to inmates," 2 May 2019 For the first time in the show’s history, the contestants cross the pond to London and take over dinner service at chef Gordon Ramsay’s flagship London restaurant, feeding 36 diners, including the judges and host Ramsay’s family. 8 p.m. Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Wednesday ‘MasterChef’ in London on Fox," 3 Sep. 2019 Former American Idol contestant Haley Smith has died. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "Former American Idol contestant Haley Smith dies in crash at 26," 3 Sep. 2019 Be sure to check out the greasy pole climb on Sept. 2, where contestants attempt to scale an oily telephone pole for a cash prize. Anne Nickoloff,, "7 things to do on Labor Day in Cleveland," 2 Sep. 2019 The contestants compete for the honor (and a cake-stand trophy) but not a cash prize. Annaliese Griffin, Quartzy, "Netflix won’t let you binge-watch this show’s latest season, and it’s doing you a favor," 1 Sep. 2019 Not only is the show coming off a record-breaking season, during which contestant James Holzhauer achieved an incredible 32-game winning streak, but Trebek teased that the upcoming season also has a breakout star. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Alex Trebek has finished chemotherapy and is back to work at "Jeopardy!"," 29 Aug. 2019 John tried handing the trophy to Jade Jolie, a RuPaul's Drag Race contestant from season five, who portrayed Taylor in the music video and also impersonated the pop star during her season's Snatch Game. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "John Travolta Apparently Mistook Jade Jolie as Taylor Swift at the MTV VMAs 2019," 27 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contestant.' 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 contestant

1665, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for contestant

contest entry 1 + -ant entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about contestant

Statistics for contestant

Last Updated

22 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contestant

The first known use of contestant was in 1665

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for contestant



English Language Learners Definition of contestant

: a person who takes part in a contest


con·​tes·​tant | \ kən-ˈtes-tənt How to pronounce contestant (audio) \

Kids Definition of contestant

: a person who takes part in a competition He's a contestant on a quiz show.



Legal Definition of contestant

: one that initiates or participates in a contest

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on contestant

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



Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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