opponent

noun
op·​po·​nent | \ə-ˈpō-nənt \

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 & Antonyms for opponent

Synonyms: Noun

adversary, antagonist, enemy, foe, hostile

Antonyms: Noun

amigo, friend

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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

Former lawmaker Imran Khan, who hopes to become the next prime minister, condemned Friday's attack against his opponent, Durrani. NBC News, "More than 100 people killed in Pakistan election violence," 14 July 2018 Former lawmaker Imran Khan, who hopes to become the next prime minister, condemned Friday's attack against his opponent, Durrani. Zaheer Babar And Abdul Sattar, chicagotribune.com, "74 dead in election violence in Pakistan," 13 July 2018 That development has been in the works since before Hogan took office and has moved ahead despite some vocal opponents, many of whom criticized a $23 million tax-increment-financing subsidy. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "As governor, Larry Hogan's real estate business continues to thrive — prompting questions," 13 July 2018 Former lawmaker Imran Khan, who hopes to become the next prime minister, condemned Friday’s attack against his opponent, Durrani. Zaheer Babar And Abdul Sattar, USA TODAY, "At least 74 people killed in Pakistan election violence," 13 July 2018 Dennis Hughes, the campaign manager for Bryce's Democratic opponent, teacher and Janesville School Board member Cathy Myers, said Bryce can't keep this information secret. Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bice: Ironworker Randy Bryce being paid undisclosed amount by Democratic firm," 11 July 2018 Gloria Steinem and 50 other pro-choice activists cited this issue in endorsing one of her primary opponents, Matt Brown. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Blue States’ Regressive Abortion Laws," 11 July 2018 But the knockout round has been an unprecedented grind, with inferior opponents (on paper) taking them to extra time in all three games. Brian Straus, SI.com, "France vs. Croatia: A First Look at Their World Cup Final Matchup," 11 July 2018 But unlike his opponents, who wish to inflict pain, his sins are essentially victimless—especially since this tournament has introduced Video Assistant Referees, with his antics constantly being reviewed by replay. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Annoying Genius Who Makes the World Cup Worth Watching," 5 July 2018

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

6 Nov 2018

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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of opponent 

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

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Comments on opponent

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