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 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

Archie is brought into the pool, where his opponent is Mad Dog. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Recap Season 3 Episode 5: Can Archie Escape From a Teenage Fight Club?!," 15 Nov. 2018 Seth McConnell/Denver Post/Getty Images Supporters and opponents of legalization alike acknowledge these failures, but both sides disagree on whether legalization goes too far. German Lopez, Vox, "Marijuana legalization is a response to the failures of the war on drugs," 14 Nov. 2018 Baer's chronically-ill mother, Nancy, was one of 74,000 people in her District who stood to lose their healthcare when her opponent Brian Mast voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Jill Filipovic, Harper's BAZAAR, "Your State-by-State Guide to Women Running in the Midterms," 31 Oct. 2018 Stacey Abrams trails her Republican opponent in the still undecided bitter Georgia gubernatorial race, and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who once led in the polls in the race for Florida governor, is now awaiting the results of a recount. Nicholas Riccardi, The Seattle Times, "Democrat Sinema wins Arizona Senate seat running as centrist," 13 Nov. 2018 Infantino’s biggest opponent in this mission is UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, in part because the organization has its own plan to revamp the existing Champions League. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Soccer’s Super League Threat Isn’t Going Away," 12 Nov. 2018 Democrat Lauren Underwood took a seat in Illinois, unseating her Republican opponent in the process and flipping a district that typically votes Republican. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "The 2018 Midterms Saw Women Winning in Record-Breaking Numbers," 7 Nov. 2018 An opponent in the Democratic primary was better-funded and better-known. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Jon Tester reelected to US Senate, holding on to Montana seat for Democrats," 7 Nov. 2018 Among the Republicans quick to call for Esty’s resignation was Manny Santos, a former Republican mayor in Connecticut and Esty’s presumptive opponent in November’s election. Joseph Weber, Fox News, "Washington Democrats silent on calls for Rep. Esty to resign over harassment, abuse case," 2 Oct. 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

4 Dec 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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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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