[uh-poh-nuh nt] /əˈpoʊ nənt/
a person who is on an opposing side in a game, contest, controversy, or the like; adversary.
being opposite, as in position.
opposing; adverse; antagonistic.
Anatomy. bringing parts together or into opposition, as a muscle.
1580–90; < Latin oppōnent- (stem of oppōnēns, present participle of oppōnere to place over, against, or in front of, make an obstacle), equivalent to op- op- + pōn(ere) to place, set, put + -ent- -ent
1. antagonist. Opponent, competitor, rival refer to persons engaged in a contest. Opponent is the most impersonal, meaning merely one who opposes; perhaps one who continually blocks and frustrates or one who happens to be on the opposite side in a temporary contest: an opponent in a debate. Competitor emphasizes the action in striving against another, or others, for a definite, common goal: competitors in business. Rival has both personal and emotional connotations; it emphasizes the idea that (usually) two persons are struggling to attain the same object: rivals for an office.
1. ally, friend.
Example Sentences for opponent
If an opponent hesitates, it is perfectly proper to draw conclusions but you do so at your own risk.
Any columnist or opponent of the president will use it to poke fun at him.
Historically, scoring for tournaments was based largely on if a knight could break his spear on his opponent.
Most such conflicts end with a third party intervening, usually in favor of one opponent.
Her opponent proposed a rematch, and repeated games led to chatting about their personal lives.
Bereft of leverage, it can be pushed back to its bottom line by a clever opponent.
The object is to move more beads into your goal than your opponent moves into his or hers.
People try harder to beat a weakling than to topple a higher-ranked opponent.
But for me, gaining a lifelong, live-in opponent was the icing on the wedding cake.
The trick is trying to guess what your opponent is going to do.
British Dictionary definitions for opponent
opponent (əˈpəʊnənt)
1.  a person who opposes another in a contest, battle, etc
2.  anatomy an opponent muscle
3.  opposite, as in position
4.  anatomy (of a muscle) bringing two parts into opposition
5.  opposing; contrary
[C16: from Latin oppōnere to oppose, from ob- against + pōnere to place]

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Word Origin and History for opponent
1588, from L. opponentem (nom. opponens), prp. of opponere "oppose, object to, set against," from ob "against" + ponere "to put, set, place" (see position).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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