1. A struggle for superiority or victory between rivals: England's contest with Spain for domination of the seas.
2. A competition, especially one in which entrants perform separately and are rated by judges: a spelling contest.
v. (kən-tĕst, kŏntĕst′) con·test·ed, con·test·ing, con·tests
1. To compete or strive for; struggle to gain or control: trade routes that were contested by competing cultures.
2. To call into question and take an active stand against; dispute or challenge: contest a will. See Synonyms at oppose.
3. Sports To defend against (a shot), as in basketball.
To struggle or compete; contend: contested with other bidders for the antique.
[Probably from French conteste, from contester, to dispute, from Old French, to call to witness, from Latin contestārī : com-, com- + testis, witness; see trei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
con′tes·tation (kŏn′tĕ-stāshən) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus