- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordsenemy, competitor, candidate, foe, rival, player, challenger, opposition, aspirant, adversary, opposer, assailant, bandit, entrant, contestant, match, antagonist, con, disputant, anti
Examples from the Web for opponent
Despite the scandal, Grimm beat his Democratic opponent by 18 points in November.2014 Was a Delectably Good Year for Sleaze
December 30, 2014
This opponent is like no other Rodgers has to face on the gridiron.Aaron Rodgers Takes Aim at Congo’s ‘Blood Minerals’ War
December 3, 2014
As the campaign season heated up, his opponent hammered away on the issue.Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy to Democrats: Grow a Pair
November 19, 2014
Peter Shumlin has been doing a lousy job and voters turned against him, even though he outspent his opponent five to one.What the Hell Happened in Vermont?!
November 13, 2014
The Democratic incumbent was doing fine with local issues until her opponent used the ISIS beheadings to turn the tide.Kay Hagan's North Carolina Crash
November 5, 2014
Avoid me—place yourself in the condition of my opponent, and beware.
A speech by an opponent, who is known as an harangue-outang.The Devil's Dictionary
In the act of striking him, the torrent of his opponent's rage had reached a stop.Barnaby Rudge
It was a battle of one against an opponent who had no idea battle was intended.The Law-Breakers
After which he and his opponent bowed to the tribunal, and departed.
- 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
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
Word Origin and History for opponent
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper