opponent

noun
op·​po·​nent | \ ə-ˈpō-nənt How to pronounce opponent (audio) \

Definition of opponent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one that takes an opposite position (as in a debate, contest, or conflict) She is a formidable opponent in the race for senator. opponents of the war
2 : a muscle that opposes or counteracts and limits the action of another

opponent

adjective

Definition of opponent (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : situated in front

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Synonyms for opponent

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of opponent in a Sentence

Noun She is a formidable opponent in the race for senator. The team's opponents have not lost a game this season. He knocked out his opponent in the third round.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That didn't sit well with Trump opponents, who criticized a team that once unified a nation. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "'Miracle on Ice' U.S. hockey team responds to criticism for appearing at Trump rally," 24 Feb. 2020 Fewer people have been more vocal opponents of this 24/7 work culture than Dan Lyons, a former journalist who left the newsroom to work at startups in the mid-2000s. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "Silicon Valley Ruined Work Culture," 24 Feb. 2020 The Pacers have defeated top-shelf opponents this season, beating the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers (twice) and Denver Nuggets. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Toronto Raptors send 'wake-up call' to Indiana Pacers with embarrassing blowout," 24 Feb. 2020 Tom Izzo now hopes that Ahrens’ return to relative health will allow Michigan State basketball to use his fifth-year senior at forward to create matchup problems for opponents. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State basketball found success with the smaller lineup. Kyle Ahrens is the key," 23 Feb. 2020 There was speculation about whom the union might endorse, and whether one of Sanders’s more moderate opponents would benefit from this dispute. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "The Union at the Center of the Medicare for All Fight in Nevada," 22 Feb. 2020 The Beavers currently rank 75th in the NCAA’s NET rankings — right on the edge of that quadrant for road opponents — and still have three games left against the top half of the Pac-12. Ryan Kartjestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "USC needs another marquee victory to bolster its NCAA tournament hopes," 22 Feb. 2020 In this polarized age, to these consultants, microtargeting is a way to avoid putting your candidate’s ads in front of opponent’s supporters. Jeremy B. Merrill, Quartz, "The hot new ways political consultants will try to win your vote," 21 Feb. 2020 That's when the NX300h should see fewer fill-ups and boost its value versus conventional opponents. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "The Popular Lexus NX300h Makes Hybrid Crossovers Look Cool," 20 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In four of Iowa’s five losses, opponent field-goal and 3-point accuracy rates have been so high as to peg the Hawkeyes as being somewhat unlucky in bumping up against a couple too many incredible shooting nights. Marcus Mosher, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Michigan at Iowa college basketball odds, picks and best bets," 17 Jan. 2020 The Lions play host to local rival Athens Bible in an area game Monday at 7 p.m. Whitesburg will host area opponent Oakwood Adventist on Tuesday. al, "Lindsay Lane’s Tommy Murr scores 52 points in victory," 10 Jan. 2020 Where Manchester City’s great strength is in making itself look good, at least part of Liverpool’s success can be explained by its capacity to make its opponent look bad. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Liverpool’s Opponents: So Close, So Far, So Frustrated," 18 Oct. 2019 The Lions have surrendered only four passing touchdowns through four games, and their opponent passer rating is 80.3. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "NFL power rankings for Week 5: Bears move back into the top 10 after their 3rd straight win," 1 Oct. 2019 On the other side of the ball, the Blazers’ defense held South Alabama to a measly 2-of-11 on third-down conversions and are now allowing a 21.4 percent opponent conversion rate (9-of-42) for the season. Evan Dudley, al, "Instant analysis: UAB blows out South Alabama at home," 21 Sep. 2019 But ex-Invicta champ Felicia Spencer accomplished her goal of making her opponent look human. Steven Marrocco, MMA Junkie, "UFC 240 results: Cris Cyborg cut, but outworks gritty Felicia Spencer," 28 July 2019 The Colts rank fourth in the NFL in opponent kickoff-return average, a product of Sanchez’s savvy as a kickoff specialist. Stephen Holder, Indianapolis Star, "Colts' thumbs up, down: Jack Doyle, Jabaal Sheard starred this season," 1 Jan. 2018 The Lady Rams sank 85.7% (6-7) of their free throws and lost a Badgers-opponent season-high 26 turnovers to a season-high 14 steals by SHC. Spring Hill College Athletics, AL.com, "Spring Hill women continue to roll with 73-46 win over Mobile," 24 Jan. 2018

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

Noun

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for opponent

Noun

borrowed from Medieval Latin oppōnent-, oppōnens "one who proposes something for discussion," from present participle of Latin oppōnere "to place as an obstacle, set in opposition to, argue in reply" — more at oppose

Adjective

borrowed from Latin oppōnent-, oppōnens, present participle of oppōnere "to place as an obstacle, set in opposition to, argue in reply" — more at oppose

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Time Traveler for opponent

Time Traveler

The first known use of opponent was in 1553

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Statistics for opponent

Last Updated

27 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Opponent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opponent. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for opponent

opponent

noun
How to pronounce opponent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of opponent

: a person, team, group, etc., that is competing against another in a contest
: a person, group, etc., that is against something (such as an action, law, or system) : someone or something that does not want something to exist, be done, etc.

opponent

noun
op·​po·​nent | \ ə-ˈpō-nənt How to pronounce opponent (audio) \

Kids Definition of opponent

: a person or thing that takes an opposite position in a contest, fight, or controversy

opponent

noun
op·​po·​nent | \ ə-ˈpō-nənt How to pronounce opponent (audio) \

Medical Definition of opponent

: a muscle that opposes or counteracts and limits the action of another

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