1. One that opposes another or others, as in a battle, contest, or debate: a political opponent.
2. One who is hostile to an idea or cause: an opponent of gun control.
Acting against an antagonist or opposing force: opponent armies.
[Latin oppōnēns, oppōnent-, present participle of oppōnere, to oppose; see OPPOSE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.