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

Just as with the U.S. Open women's final, the opponents had met in the Rogers Cup final. Mike Brehm, USA TODAY, "US Open: Time, TV, how to watch men's final between Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev," 8 Sep. 2019 Then again, this felt like more than that because of the series history, the name of the opponent and the storied location. San Diego Union-Tribune, "This Ryan Agnew ‘magnificent’ in Aztecs’ historic win against UCLA," 7 Sep. 2019 Two plays later, Sage Hill (1-1) fumbled and Flintridge Prep’s Kevin Ashworth recovered at the opponent’s 15-yard line. Andrew Campa, Daily Pilot, "Sage Hill football falls to Flintridge Prep, suffers first regular-season loss since 2017," 7 Sep. 2019 This is the first meeting of the year between the two cross-division opponents. Esten Mclaren, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "BC Lions at Montreal Alouettes odds, predictions, picks and best bets," 6 Sep. 2019 However, after 37 years in power, refusing to step down, that legacy became entwined with violent oppression toward his opponents, which led to him being ousted in a military coup in 2017. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe Dead At 95," 6 Sep. 2019 Half of the Patriots’ opponents are trying to lose. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Here are the Globe staff’s predictions for the NFL season," 5 Sep. 2019 All seven of the Owls home opponents were bowl-eligible last season. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "College football preview: Wake Forest at Rice," 5 Sep. 2019 Sam Koch delivered a typically solid season in 2018, putting 45% of his punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Scouting report for Sunday’s Ravens-Dolphins game," 5 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But ex-Invicta champ Felicia Spencer accomplished her goal of making her opponent look human. Steven Marrocco, MMA Junkie, "UFC 240 results: Cris Cyborg cut, but outworks gritty Felicia Spencer," 28 July 2019 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 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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