follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

compete

[kuh m-peet] /kəmˈpit/
verb (used without object), competed, competing.
1.
to strive to outdo another for acknowledgment, a prize, supremacy, profit, etc.; engage in a contest; vie:
to compete in a race; to compete in business.
Origin
1610-1620
1610-20; < Latin competere to meet, coincide, be fitting, suffice (Late Latin: seek, ask for), equivalent to com- com- + petere to seek; Late Latin and E sense influenced by competitor
Related forms
competer, noun
competingly, adverb
noncompeting, adjective
outcompete, verb (used with object), outcompeted, outcompeting.
Synonyms
struggle. Compete, contend, contest mean to strive to outdo or excel. Compete implies having a sense of rivalry and of striving to do one's best as well as to outdo another: to compete for a prize. Contend suggests opposition or disputing as well as rivalry: to contend with an opponent, against obstacles. Contest suggests struggling to gain or hold something, as well as contending or disputing: to contest a position or ground (in battle ); to contest a decision.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for compete
  • Students compete in a calculus contest to win a gift certificate at the college bookstore.
  • In this round, a further seven universities will also have a chance to compete for strategy funding.
  • Of course, that means that males compete with males for mating opportunities, and females compete with females.
  • Ask them what characteristics animals have developed to maximize their potential to successfully compete in an ecosystem.
  • They compete with one another for limited resources: brain time or bandwidth.
  • No one expects able-bodied runners to compete head-to-head with wheelchair-bound marathoners.
  • Candidates must also have a record of securing or the potential to compete for extramural funding.
  • For a two-week span, athletes from dozens of countries compete against each other in scores of different sports.
  • Instead groups of neurons compete to represent a concept, until one emerges dominant.
  • For sheer drama, few plants can compete with spring-blooming bulbs.
British Dictionary definitions for compete

compete

/kəmˈpiːt/
verb
1.
(intransitive) often foll by with. to contend (against) for profit, an award, athletic supremacy, etc; engage in a contest (with)
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin competere to strive together, from Latin: to meet, come together, agree, from com- together + petere to seek
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for compete
compete
1620, from Fr. compéter "be in rivalry with," from L.L. competere "strive in common," in L., "to come together, agree, to be qualified," later, "strive together," from com- "together" + petere "to strive, seek" (see petition). Rare 17c., and regarded early 19c. as a Scottish or Amer.Eng. word.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for compete

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for compete

13
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with compete