• synonyms


See more synonyms for rival 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.
  3. Obsolete. a companion in duty.
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  1. competing or standing in rivalry: rival suitors; rival businesses.
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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.
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verb (used without object), ri·valed, ri·val·ing or (especially British) ri·valled, ri·val·ling.
  1. to engage in rivalry; compete.
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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


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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

Related Words

emulate, equal, resemble, contend, contest, correspond, approximate, tie, amount, near, compete, partake, touch, meet, approach, match

Examples from the Web for rivalled

Historical Examples

  • And he laughed with a cackle a demon could not have rivalled.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever

  • For all the grandeur of their names they rivalled one another in incompetency and timidity.


    Frank Fox

  • Their passionate devotion to their faith is only rivalled by their passionate devotion to the Motherland.

    My New Curate

    P.A. Sheehan

  • Fox and Burke and Pitt rivalled each other in condemning the system.

  • The success of this play was rivalled by Gogol's comedy, "The Revisor."

British Dictionary definitions for rivalled


    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
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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
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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 rivalled



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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper