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.

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Democrats also have poured money into the race, which has become San Diego’s most hotly contested. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Republicans rallying to save one of two remaining San Diego council seats," 2 Sep. 2019 Though the first set was closely contested, Osaka took command of the match for good early in the second set. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Naomi Osaka Knocks Coco Gauff Out of the U.S. Open," 31 Aug. 2019 Now in the care of Dave Seville’s nephew Toby, chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore enter a battle of the bands contest to save their school’s music program. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 Truth be told, this one could have been contested at any hour on any day and the outcome might not have changed. Washington Post, "After US Open win, Federer bristles at idea he chose timing," 30 Aug. 2019 The game was the first official athletics contest in the history of the school. Pat Stoetzer, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Men’s Soccer: A day of firsts, and ‘fun’ for Carroll Community College," 28 Aug. 2019 How could Krista Kafer in all seriousness contest one of the absolute easiest ways to do something, anything? Reading about microplastics found in rainwater should scare the (expletive) out of everyone. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Curb population growth; Plastic bag ban would be easy; Recalls defraud voters (8/28/19)," 28 Aug. 2019 The elephant and ivory debates are among the most hotly contested at this CITES conference of parties meeting, which runs from August 17 through August 28. National Geographic, "Elephant ivory trade talks heat up in Geneva," 23 Aug. 2019 There are a total of 11 candidates vying for the three open board seats this year — three candidates are running for Position 5; four are seeking the Position 6 seat; and another four candidates are contesting for the Position 7 seat. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Candidate slate set for Nov. 5 Woodlands board election," 22 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The fair is a participating fair for the CT state apple pie and baking contests. courant.com, "Community News For The East Hartford Edition," 4 Sep. 2019 The high-scoring contest could lead to a top-10 Week 1 finish for the fifth-round draft choice out of Utah. Frankie Taddeo, SI.com, "Top Fantasy Football Streaming Options for Week 1," 4 Sep. 2019 Philip Hammond, who served as Theresa May's Chancellor until just weeks ago, was among them -- as was Rory Stewart, another former minister and the breakout star of this summer's Conservative leadership contest that Johnson ultimately won. Rob Picheta, CNN, "Winston Churchill's grandson expelled from Conservative Party by Boris Johnson in wake of Brexit crisis," 4 Sep. 2019 Thiensville Village Park, 250 Elm St., Thiensville Sunday Oct. 6, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Go on a hay ride, get your face painted, take a barrel train ride, race on a Big Wheel and watch the apple pie baking contest. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Six weekends of fall fun in and around Milwaukee include harvest festivals, trick or treating and haunted hiking," 3 Sep. 2019 This event will feature craft or vintage vendors, community entertainment, a parade, beer garden, baking contest and more. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Where to find Oktoberfests, fall and harvest festivals around Indianapolis," 3 Sep. 2019 The Saint Thomas Eagles won four match-ups in a row between 2012 and 2015, but the Strake Jesuit Crusaders won their second in a row with a 28-17 victory in a week 1 contest on Aug. 30 at Clay Stadium on the campus of Strake Jesuit. Elliott Lapin, Houston Chronicle, "Strake Jesuit Crusaders keep the upper hand in rivarly with the St. Thomas Eagles with week 1 win," 3 Sep. 2019 Violinist and video production expert Mark Dumm put together an amusing and surprisingly wide-ranging contest that allowed hundreds to participate at once, via smartphone. Zachary Lewis, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Orchestra hits the mark with ‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back’," 3 Sep. 2019 The idea is to take away the popularity contest of posting, which makes people feel bad when their post doesn't perform with big numbers. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Thumbs up? Facebook considers hiding 'likes' to make you feel better about posting," 3 Sep. 2019

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.

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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

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French contester "to debate, make the subject of dispute," earlier "to refuse to recognize a right or claim," probably borrowed from Old Occitan contestar, borrowed from Latin contestārī "to call to witness," in the phrase lītem contestārī (with līt-, līs "dispute at law") "to join issue in a legal suit," from con- con- + -testārī, verbal derivative of testis "witness" — more at testament

Noun

derivative of contest entry 1

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Statistics for contest

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contest

The first known use of contest was in 1603

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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

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Comments on contest

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