Why was clemency trending last week?


[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.
Origin of opponent
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web 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


a person who opposes another in a contest, battle, etc
(anatomy) an opponent muscle
opposite, as in position
(anatomy) (of a muscle) bringing two parts into opposition
opposing; contrary
Derived Forms
opponency, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin oppōnere to oppose, from ob- against + pōnere to place
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 opponent

1580s, from Latin opponentem (nominative opponens), present participle of opponere "oppose, object to," literally "set against, set opposite," from ob "against" (see ob-) + ponere "to put, set, place" (see position).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for opponent

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for opponent

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with opponent