[ kuhm-peet ]
See synonyms for: competecompetedcompeting on

verb (used without object),com·pet·ed, com·pet·ing.
  1. 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.

Idioms about compete

  1. cannot/can't compete with, to not be, by a great degree, as good or capable as (someone or something else): These roses are lovely, but they can’t compete with the ones we grew back home in Ecuador.

Origin of compete

First recorded in 1610–20; from Latin competere “to meet, coincide, be fitting, suffice” (Late Latin: “to seek, ask for”), equivalent to com- “with, together” + petere “to seek”; see com-. The Late Latin and English senses were influenced by competitor

synonym study For compete

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.

Other words for compete

Other words from compete

  • com·pet·er, noun
  • com·pet·ing·ly, adverb
  • non·com·pet·ing, adjective
  • out·com·pete, verb (used with object), out·com·pet·ed, out·com·pet·ing.

Words Nearby compete Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use compete in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for compete


/ (kəmˈpiːt) /

  1. (intr often foll by with) to contend (against) for profit, an award, athletic supremacy, etc; engage in a contest (with)

Origin of compete

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 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012