A rival is a competitor or contender that you want to defeat, whether in an actual competition or for another goal. It may be a tennis rival or a rival for your true love’s affections.

There are all types of rivals, but they tend to show up a lot in sports. For example, in college football, the Army and Navy have been rivals since their first meeting in 1890. Something that is able to rival something else is seen as comparable to it in quality, and something that is said to be “without rival” is unmatched, or better than everything else.

Definitions of rival

n the contestant you hope to defeat

“he had respect for his rivals
challenger, competition, competitor, contender
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champ, champion, title-holder
someone who has won first place in a competition
someone with a promising future
a contestant who reaches the final stages of a competition
enemy, foe
a personal enemy
favorite, favourite, front-runner
a competitor thought likely to win
king, queen, world-beater
a competitor who holds a preeminent position
runner-up, second best
the competitor who finishes second
a competitor who has withdrawn from competition
one of four competitors remaining in a tournament by elimination
street fighter
a contestant who is very aggressive and willing to use underhand methods
any one of two or more competitors who tie one another
someone who engages in a tilt or joust
mortal enemy
an enemy who wants to kill you
record-breaker, record-holder
someone who breaks a record
Type of:
a person who participates in competitions

v be the rival of, be in competition with

“we are rivaling for first place in the race”
outrival, outvie
be more of a rival than
Type of:
compete, contend, vie
compete for something; engage in a contest; measure oneself against others

v be equal to in quality or ability

“Nothing can rival cotton for durability”
equal, match, touch
equal, equalise, equalize, equate, match
make equal, uniform, corresponding, or matching
Type of:
compete, contend, vie
compete for something; engage in a contest; measure oneself against others

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