• synonyms


[rahy-vuh l]
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  1. a person who is competing for the same object or goal as another, or who tries to equal or outdo another; competitor.
  2. a person or thing that is in a position to dispute another's preeminence or superiority: a stadium without a rival.
  3. Obsolete. a companion in duty.
  1. competing or standing in rivalry: rival suitors; rival businesses.
verb (used with object), ri·valed, ri·val·ing or (especially British) ri·valled, ri·val·ling.
  1. to compete with in rivalry: strive to win from, equal, or outdo.
  2. to prove to be a worthy rival of: He soon rivaled the others in skill.
  3. to equal (something) as if in carrying on a rivalry: The Hudson rivals any European river in beauty.
verb (used without object), ri·valed, ri·val·ing or (especially British) ri·valled, ri·val·ling.
  1. to engage in rivalry; compete.

Origin of rival

1570–80; < Latin rīvālis orig., one who uses a stream in common with another, equivalent to rīv(us) stream + -ālis -al1
Related formsri·val·less, adjectivenon·ri·val, noun, adjectiveout·ri·val, verb (used with object), out·ri·valed, out·ri·val·ing or (especially British) out·ri·valled, out·ri·val·ling.un·ri·val·ing, adjectiveun·ri·val·ling, adjective


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1. contestant, emulator, antagonist. See opponent. 4. competitive, opposed. 5. oppose. 7. match, emulate.


1. ally.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for outrival

Historical Examples

  • There was no verdure, no flowers, no birds hidden beneath the frondage, and twittering as if to outrival each other.

    The Tiger-Slayer

    Gustave Aimard

  • In short, it is charming, and though things are much better at Rochecotte, there are some here which outrival ours.

  • Jamblichus, practices secret arts, to outrival Christian magi, 40.

  • Lorenzo, in competition with his uncle, determined that the Laurel branch should outrival the Diamond.

  • This surpassingly grand bit of scenery is considered by some people to outrival that pride of all Americans, Niagara Falls.

British Dictionary definitions for outrival


    1. a person, organization, team, etc, that competes with another for the same object or in the same field
    2. (as modifier)rival suitors; a rival company
  1. a person or thing that is considered the equal of another or othersshe is without rival in the field of economics
verb -vals, -valling or -valled or US -vals, -valing or -valed (tr)
  1. to be the equal or near equal ofan empire that rivalled Rome
  2. to try to equal or surpass; compete with in rivalry

Word Origin

C16: from Latin rīvalis, literally: one who shares the same brook, from rīvus a brook
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

Word Origin and History for outrival



1570s, from Latin rivalis "a rival, adversary in love; neighbor," originally, "of the same brook," from rivus "brook" (see rivulet). "One who is in pursuit of the same object as another." The sense evolution seems to be based on the competitiveness of neighbors: "one who uses the same stream," or "one on the opposite side of the stream" A secondary sense in Latin and sometimes in English was "associate, companion in duty," from the notion of "one having a common right or privilege with another." As an adjective 1580s from the noun.



c.1600, from rival (n.). Related: Rivaled; rivaling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper