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 ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.