Definition of contest in English:


Syllabification: con·test


Pronunciation: /ˈkänˌtest
  • 1An event in which people compete for supremacy in a sport, activity, or particular quality: a gigantic air rifle shooting contest a beauty contest
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    • Festivals are based on contests and events such as poetry readings, sports, and other activities.
    • The technical events include quiz contests, an on-the-spot hardware design contest and a hardware debugging contest.
    • Over 25 events, including contests, classes and fun games, will be held.
  • 1.1A competition for a political position: the presidential contest
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    • It is also the outcome of the calculated political manipulation of the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination.
    • Watching the Conservative Party leadership contest, political neutrals are unsure whether to laugh or cry.
    • Then, presidential candidates can't ignore the early political contests in New Hampshire and Iowa, or can they?
  • 1.2A dispute or conflict: a contest between traditional and liberal views
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    • Part B concentrates on such contests and disputes, exploring them more systematically than did the prior materials.
    • I don't at this stage, and I never have thought, that it's constructive to characterise it as a conflict or a contest.
    • The contest over tropes of traditional Africa and measures of authenticity in postcolonial arts and politics can be thought of in a similar manner.
    fight, battle, tussle, struggle, competition, race


Pronunciation: /kənˈtest, ˈkänˌtest
[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Engage in competition to attain (a position of power): she declared her intention to contest the presidency
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    • Twelve people are contesting eight positions on city council.
    • In the post-modern world, preoccupied with contesting every perceived centre of power, the severest casualty has been our ability to judge between right and wrong, beautiful and ugly.
    • It was representing Wolf hill as a delegate to the county board that he successfully contested the position of secretary.
    compete for, contend for, vie for, fight for, try to win, go for
  • 1.1Take part in (a competition or election): a coalition was formed to contest the presidential elections
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    • The party's general council decided following the last election they would contest the next poll as an independent party, a spokesperson said.
    • Methodology was contested in the election of eight senators out of a total of 7,500 posts filled.
    • After the Russian troops left Chechnya by 1997, he contested the presidential election there.
  • 2Oppose (an action, decision, or theory) as mistaken or wrong: the former chairman contests his dismissal
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    • So it contests the theory of evolution while also accommodating much of the theories?
    • National threatens to dismantle workers rights to contest dismissal and also seek to reduce holiday entitlements.
    • None of the allegations made by the former pupils were contested.
    oppose, object to, challenge, take a stand against, take issue with, question, call into question
  • 2.1Engage in dispute about: the issues have been hotly contested
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    • The ‘cause’ of an individual's sexual orientation is one of the most hotly contested debates within the scientific community.
    • Education and its reform were hotly contested topics of debate in Regency Spain.
    • The directive, which is up for review at the close of 2002, will no doubt be a hotly contested debate.
    debate, argue about, dispute, quarrel over


no contest

  • 1chiefly US another term for nolo contendere. he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts
    More example sentences
    • Of the approximately 77,000 defendants convicted on federal charges in 2001, 97 percent pleaded guilty or no contest.
    • He pled no contest and will receive 18 months probation.
    • This comes, of course, less than a month after Jenna pled no contest to alcohol possession, after she was picked up in sweep of nightclubs by the city police.
  • 2A competition, comparison, or choice of which the outcome is a foregone conclusion: when the two teams faced each other it was no contest
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    • He threw in a few attention-seeking barbs, but as a popularity competition, it was no contest.
    • There is absolutely no contest comparing the new soundtrack to the old.
    • But a torch to compete with blazing headlights is no contest.
  • 2.1A decision by the referee to declare a boxing match invalid on the grounds that one or both of the boxers are not making serious efforts.
    More example sentences
    • In their first meeting Aug.28, 1998 in Las Vegas, the fight ended in the fourth round as a no contest when the referee the fighters from a clinch on the ropes.
    • His last foray into the ring was in February when his fight with Raul was declared a no contest.
    • The match was ruled no contest when Triple H ran in to help X-Pac.



Pronunciation: /kənˈtestəbəl/
More example sentences
  • She says the assumptions of the rational actor model underlying classical contract theory are ‘arguably contestable.’
  • At the same time, some feminists have sought to impose a particular social vision, even though their own views are highly controversial and contestable.
  • Except that we received much more challenging and contestable papers that opened up the question of culture by showing it rather than saying it.


Pronunciation: /kənˈtestər, ˈkänˌtes-/
More example sentences
  • That practice has stopped when parents / contesters decided to move courts.
  • Contesting a patent creates many benefits, and the contester gets only a fraction of them.
  • She suggests that sports ‘both objectify social divisions and nationalist sentiments and point to an alliance between contesters, a shared fanaticism’.


late 16th century (as a verb in the sense 'swear to, attest'): from Latin contestari 'call upon to witness, initiate an action (by calling witnesses)', from con- 'together' + testare 'to witness'. The senses 'wrangle, strive, struggle for' arose in the early 17th century, whence the current noun and verb senses.

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