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

The Horned Frogs led the Big 12 in scoring defense last year, limiting opponents to 19 points a game and 5.07 yards a play. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Here’s where the media picked TCU in preseason football poll," 12 July 2018 Fuel-grade hydrogen also requires energy to make, leading some opponents to contend that unless renewable energy is being used to make fuel, hydrogen fuel cells really aren't all that green. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "A hydrogen-powered research boat has many advantages over diesel, lab says," 5 July 2018 Among those involved in the movement to address Spain’s legacy of silence, Cantera gained a reputation as an implacable opponent. Matías Costa, Smithsonian, "The Battle Over the Memory of the Spanish Civil War," 28 June 2018 In 2016 Democrats who beat Republican opponents won an average of 67.4% of the two-party vote in their districts, whereas Republicans who defeated Democrats received an average of 63.8%. The Economist, "America’s electoral system gives the Republicans advantages over Democrats," 12 July 2018 The defense held opponents to 10 points or less in nine out of its 11 games and pitched three shutouts. Will Mccollister, SI.com, "On the Outside Looking In: The Best Teams to Finish No. 3 in the BCS Era," 11 July 2018 The two went head-to-head as NBA playoff finals opponents but remained lifelong friends. Marvin Pave, BostonGlobe.com, "Frank Ramsey, NBA’s original ‘sixth man’ who won seven titles with Celtics, dies at 86," 11 July 2018 Senators will be seeking access to Kavanaugh’s writings and correspondence, reams of documents that will take weeks to compile and even longer to review, giving opponents ample opportunity to wage a political battle. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Emotions high as Kavanaugh begins fight for confirmation," 10 July 2018 Unofficial results showed Spiegelberg with 280 votes in the District 1 election while opponent Lynn Stull garnered 222. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Karen Spiegelberg wins Oconomowoc special election, becomes first alderwoman since 2013," 10 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

11 Sep 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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