[kuh n-tend] /kənˈtɛnd/
verb (used without object)
to struggle in opposition:
"to contend with the enemy for control of the port."
to strive in rivalry; compete; vie:
"to contend for first prize."
to strive in debate; dispute earnestly:
"to contend against falsehood."
verb (used with object)
to assert or maintain earnestly:
"He contended that taxes were too high."
1400–50; late Middle English contenden < Anglo-French contendre < Latin contendere to compete, strive, draw tight, equivalent to con- con- + tendere to stretch; see tend1
Related forms
contender, noun
contendingly, adverb
noncontending, adjective
precontend, verb (used without object)
recontend, verb (used without object)
uncontended, adjective
uncontending, adjective
Can be confused
contend, contest.
1. wrestle, grapple, battle, fight. 2. See compete. 3. argue, wrangle. 4. hold, claim.
3. agree.
Example Sentences for contender
Previous failures, however, do not daunt the latest contender for the prize.
Tears could be one of the contender for its contents.
But the leading contender for such a unified theory, string theory, simply compounds our incomprehension.
Unsurprisingly, the hip downtown crowd always favors the darker, more poetic contender over the commercial pop-meister.
We were excited to see an inexpensive contender in this category, but a little testing revealed it to be merely cheap.
And he may be the only contender praised in a chart-topping song.
But there's no keeping a masked avenger down, especially a contender in cross-marketing promotion.
So the only contender right now is sugarcane ethanol.
Hydrogen has several features that make it a serious contender as an alternative fuel.
Maybe you are not a gold medal contender, but you can make sure you are fit and feel well when you travel.
British Dictionary definitions for contender
contend (kənˈtɛnd)
vb (often foll by with)
1.  to struggle in rivalry, battle, etc; vie
2.  to argue earnestly; debate
3.  (tr; may take a clause as object) to assert or maintain
[C15: from Latin contendere to strive, from com- with + tendere to stretch, aim]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin and History for contender
mid-15c., from L. contendere "to stretch out, strive after," from com- intensive prefix + tendere "to stretch" (see tenet). Related: Contended (pp. adj., c.1700); contender (1540s); contending (1590s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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