1. a person who is competing for the same object or goal as another, or who tries to equal or outdo another; competitor.
  2. a person or thing that is in a position to dispute another’s preeminence or superiority: a stadium without a rival.
  3. Obsolete. a companion in duty.


  1. competing or standing in rivalry: rival suitors; rival businesses.

verb (used with object), ri·valed, ri·val·ing or (especially British) ri·valled, ri·val·ling.

  1. to compete with in rivalry: strive to win from, equal, or outdo.
  2. to prove to be a worthy rival of: He soon rivaled the others in skill.
  3. to equal (something) as if in carrying on a rivalry: The Hudson rivals any European river in beauty.

verb (used without object), ri·valed, ri·val·ing or (especially British) ri·valled, ri·val·ling.

  1. to engage in rivalry; compete.


    1. a person, organization, team, etc, that competes with another for the same object or in the same field
    2. (as modifier)rival suitors; a rival company
  1. a person or thing that is considered the equal of another or othersshe is without rival in the field of economics

verb -vals, -valling or -valled or US -vals, -valing or -valed (tr)

  1. to be the equal or near equal ofan empire that rivalled Rome
  2. to try to equal or surpass; compete with in rivalry

1570s, from Latin rivalis “a rival, adversary in love; neighbor,” originally, “of the same brook,” from rivus “brook” (see rivulet). “One who is in pursuit of the same object as another.” The sense evolution seems to be based on the competitiveness of neighbors: “one who uses the same stream,” or “one on the opposite side of the stream” A secondary sense in Latin and sometimes in English was “associate, companion in duty,” from the notion of “one having a common right or privilege with another.” As an adjective 1580s from the noun.


c.1600, from rival (n.). Related: Rivaled; rivaling.

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