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

The result of the governing Conservative party's leadership contest might not be announced until July 23, but at this point, virtually no one believes that his opponent, Jeremy Hunt, can turn around the Johnson juggernaut. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "Boris Johnson, the divisive Brexit-backing populist or the charming liberal metropolitan? UK has no idea which leader it'll get," 13 July 2019 The practice targeted left-wing opponents of Franco’s regime, and later on, unwed mothers and poor families. Fox News, "Spain 'stolen baby' discovers she was willingly given up for adoption after DNA test finds biological family," 12 July 2019 Not any opponent ahead of her on the leaderboard, and none that are behind her. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "Yuka Saso, a Philippines native, wins 2019 Girls Junior PGA Championship at Keney Park," 12 July 2019 This office recently reported on death squads in Venezuela, which are part of the government’s strategy: The Maduro government uses these squads to silence — to kill — political opponents, who are made to be seen to have resisted arrest. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 11 July 2019 Teachers tend to be amazed at how quickly children absorb sophisticated vocabulary (like fertile and opponent) and learn to make connections between different topics. Natalie Wexler, The Atlantic, "Elementary Education Has Gone Terribly Wrong," 9 July 2019 The speech was thus in character for Trump, who has spent much of his presidency patting himself on the back, lying about his political opponents, and refusing to acknowledge the crises unfolding around him. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "Trump Tries to Gaslight Planet Earth," 8 July 2019 Meanwhile some Francophone opponents to Biya’s government, regretted that Maurice Kanto, a rival to Biya in the October 2018 presidential election, who won 14% of votes according to the Constitutional Council, was not included in the talks. Paula Dupraz-dobias, Quartz Africa, "The Swiss luxury getaway of Cameroon’s president Biya has become a hotbed of conflict," 4 July 2019 Switzer’s black opponent, Jimmy Nunn, won the race. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al.com, "Civil rights activist files $4 million unlawful arrest lawsuit against ex-Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier, city," 3 July 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

17 Jul 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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