[ rahy-vuhl ]
See synonyms for: rivalrivaledrivalingrivalled on Thesaurus.com

  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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

First recorded in 1570–80; from Latin rīvālis, originally, “one who uses a stream in common with another,” equivalent to rīv(us) “stream” + -ālis -al1

synonym study For rival

1. See opponent.

Other words for rival

Opposites for rival

Other words from rival

  • ri·val·less, adjective
  • non·ri·val, noun, adjective
  • outrival, 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, adjective
  • un·ri·val·ling, adjective

Words Nearby rival

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rival in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rival


/ (ˈraɪvəl) /

    • a person, organization, team, etc, that competes with another for the same object or in the same field

    • (as modifier): rival suitors; a rival company

  1. a person or thing that is considered the equal of another or others: she 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 of: an empire that rivalled Rome

  2. to try to equal or surpass; compete with in rivalry

Origin of rival

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