verb (used without object), competed, competing.
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.

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

competer, noun
competingly, adverb
noncompeting, adjective
outcompete, verb (used with object), outcompeted, outcompeting.

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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To compete
World English Dictionary
compete (kəmˈpiːt)
vb (often foll by with)
to contend (against) for profit, an award, athletic supremacy, etc; engage in a contest (with)
[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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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
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Example sentences
Students compete in a calculus contest to win a gift certificate at the college
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.
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