Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One that opposes another or others in a battle, contest, controversy, or debate. See Synonyms at enemy.
  • adj. Acting against an antagonist or opposing force: opponent armies.
  • adj. Located in front.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An individual or group who is a rival of another.
  • n. One who attempts to stop the progression of.
  • n. One who objects to.
  • n. In team sports, a player of an opposite team.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Situated in front; opposite; hence, opposing; adverse; antagonistic.
  • n. One who opposes; an adversary; an antagonist; a foe.
  • n. One who opposes in a disputation, argument, or other verbal controversy; specifically, one who attacks some thesis or proposition, in distinction from the respondent, or defendant, who maintains it.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Situated in front; opposite; standing in the way.
  • Opposing; antagonistic; adverse.
  • In anatomy, bringing together or into opposition; having the action of an opponens. See opponens.
  • n. One who opposes; an adversary; an antagonist; one who supports the opposite side in controversy, disputation, or argument, or in a contest of any kind.
  • n. One who takes part in an opponency; the person who begins a dispute by raising objections to a tenet or doctrine: correlative to defendant or respondent.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a contestant that you are matched against
  • adj. characterized by active hostility
  • n. someone who offers opposition

Etymologies

Latin oppōnēns, oppōnent-, present participle of oppōnere, to oppose; see oppose.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin from opponere, to oppose (Wiktionary)

Examples

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