WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
op•po•nent /əˈpoʊnənt/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. a person who is on an opposing side in a game, argument, controversy, or the like;
See -pon-.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
op•po•nent  (ə pōnənt),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. a person who is on an opposing side in a game, contest, controversy, or the like;

  1. being opposite, as in position.
  2. opposing;
  3. Anatomybringing parts together or into opposition, as a muscle.
  • Latin oppōnent- (stem of oppōnēns, present participle of oppōnere to place over, against, or in front of, make an obstacle), equivalent. to op- op- + pōn(ere) to place, set, put + -ent- -ent
  • 1580–90
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged antagonist.
      Opponent, competitor, rival refer to persons engaged in a contest.
      Opponent is the most impersonal, meaning merely one who opposes;
      perhaps one who continually blocks and frustrates or one who happens to be on the opposite side in a temporary contest:an opponent in a debate.Competitor emphasizes the action in striving against another, or others, for a definite, common goal:competitors in business.Rival has both personal and emotional connotations;
      it emphasizes the idea that (usually) two persons are struggling to attain the same object:rivals for an office.
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged ally, friend.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

opponent /əˈpəʊnənt/ n
  1. a person who opposes another in a contest, battle, etc
  2. an opponent muscle
  1. opposite, as in position
  2. (of a muscle) bringing two parts into opposition
  3. opposing; contrary
Etymology: 16th Century: from Latin oppōnere to oppose, from ob- against + pōnere to place

opˈponency n

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