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

adversary, antagonist, foe, rival

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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

And a man famous for using the power of clothes (particularly those red polos on tournament Sundays) to intimidate opponents and forecast victory has, of late, been helpless against the plans that apparel — accessories — have in store for him. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "A Tolerable Redemption for Tiger Woods," 13 June 2019 Miles scouts the opponents and offers insight on the Xs and Os, specifically personnel matchups and plays. Jim Seimas, The Mercury News, "Santa Cruz’s Aaron Miles enjoying NBA playoff experience under Steve Kerr," 10 June 2019 The Jets opened the 2018 season in the Champions Challenge in Montgomery, meaning there was no two-year deal with an opponent and leaving the distinct possibility that James Clemens might play just nine games this season. Josh Bean | Jbean@al.com, al.com, "James Clemens schedules season opener vs. Georgia powerhouse," 10 June 2019 With this in mind, Spain shouldn't underestimate their Scandinavian opponents and the Blågult will surely fancy their chances against a Spanish side who are still in the rebuilding stages following a forgettable World Cup. SI.com, "Spain vs Sweden Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 9 June 2019 The coup set off a long and sometimes violent struggle for power between Thaksin’s supporters and opponents. Washington Post, "Thai court sentences ex-PM to prison over lottery program," 7 June 2019 The Herd dropped two nonconference games to quality Power 5 opponents and tripped during two conference games while navigating some quarterback injury issues. Iliana Limón Romero, orlandosentinel.com, "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 81 Marshall pushes to build on bowl win over USF," 5 June 2019 Trump is responding to both his domestic political opponents and America’s actual enemies with the same tactics: blunt, repetitive messaging and use of the walk-off. Hugh Hewitt, Twin Cities, "Hugh Hewitt: America’s enemies are on notice about this president," 5 June 2019 The rapid-turnaround campaign, with competing messages from supporters and opponents, and details of the measure have led to confusion about what the proposal would do. Howard Blume, latimes.com, "Parcel tax for L.A. schools is latest ask of taxpayers," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 Milwaukee has cut opponent three-point attempts from 27.4 per game in the first 18 contests to 23.3 in the past seven. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks are on a roll since getting back to basics in Berkeley," 10 Dec. 2017 His style is more along the lines of Floyd Mayweather Jr. — avoid contact, make the opponent look bad and win on points — which, to fans who thrive on continuous action and massive fistic exchanges, does not sit well. Bob Velin, USA TODAY, "Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux: Historic fight with great expectations," 8 Dec. 2017 Another highlight on the slate is a trip to Tuscon, Ariz., to play Pac-12 opponent Arizona on Dec. 3. Tod Leonard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Bahamas trip included in schedule for SDSU women's basketball," 9 Aug. 2017 Milpitas was scheduled to host Mission San Jose at SummitPointe Golf Course on Wednesday and to play league opponent Wilcox at Santa Clara Golf and Tennis Club on Thursday. Julian Ramos, The Mercury News, "Milpitas: Trojans baseball tops Branham High," 23 Mar. 2017

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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Learn More about opponent

Dictionary Entries near opponent

oppo

oppone

opponency

opponent

opportune

opportunism

opportunist

Statistics for opponent

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for opponent

The first known use of opponent was in 1553

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More Definitions for opponent

opponent

noun

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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More from Merriam-Webster on opponent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with opponent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for opponent

Spanish Central: Translation of opponent

Nglish: Translation of opponent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of opponent for Arabic Speakers

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