Definition of rival in English:



  • 1A person or thing competing with another for the same objective or for superiority in the same field of activity.

    ‘he has no serious rival for the job’
    as modifier ‘gun battles between rival gangs’
    • ‘His gang and his former rivals have joined forces and formed an alliance.’
    • ‘Investors long hoped the company might do the heavy restructuring needed to revive profits and compete with new rivals.’
    • ‘It was the first new painting medium in centuries and has become a serious rival to oil paint.’
    • ‘Bryan is usually out to beat Vincent, basically because they're rivals and always competing with each other.’
    • ‘But when a rival dad challenges his title, it leads to a roadside competition of epic proportions.’
    • ‘I also study all the games played by my rivals in the forthcoming competition.’
    • ‘He told her that he also saw Bartholomew Tailor, a rival in his field, and how they were pleasant to one another.’
    • ‘Things turned real bad in the last year and they became rivals, competing for everything.’
    • ‘The company is facing stiff competition from rivals that have launched new products such as DVD players and televisions.’
    • ‘Green Hills Farms developed a powerful customer-loyalty program to help it compete against giant rivals.’
    • ‘The company beat off competition from several rivals to win the deal, and in doing so has scored an important endorsement for its expansion into server management.’
    • ‘The two U.S rappers died after they were both gunned down in separate incidences by gang rivals.’
    • ‘They focus on the process through which firms develop comparative advantages over time so that they can compete effectively with their rivals.’
    • ‘It also proposed allowing governments to resume aid to help EU shipbuilders compete with Korean rivals.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, rivals are storming the field, assuring that competition remains cutthroat.’
    • ‘Over the past four years, we have seen competition mainly from domestic rivals.’
    • ‘Thus the effort to win leads to ever-shifting patterns of cooperation and competition among rivals.’
    • ‘In my view, ATM operators are highly vulnerable to competition from rivals.’
    • ‘He assassinated a rival gang leader and spent 10 years in prison for it.’
    • ‘But now I really do need their help in one very big gang battle between our rival and two other gangs.’
    competitor, opponent, contestant, contender, challenger
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with negative A person or thing that equals another in quality.
      ‘she has no rivals as a female rock singer’
      • ‘In terms of nightlife, São Paulo has no rivals - not London, not New York, not Ibiza in August.’
      • ‘The men's series has no rival for styling, craftsmanship and sensuous touch.’
      equal, match, peer, equivalent, fellow, counterpart, like
      View synonyms


[with object]
  • Be or seem to be equal or comparable to.

    ‘he was a photographer whose fame rivalled that of his subjects’
    • ‘Diana's face was so red it rivalled a tomato, and Cecil's wasn't much better.’
    • ‘Yokohama, a poor fishing village when Commodore Perry landed there in 1853, has become the second largest city in Japan, rivalling Tokyo as a port, and it would like to be seen as something more than an industrial appendage of the capital.’
    • ‘This quiet, friendly town is only 10 kilometres from the popular tourist resort of Ayia Napa, which is fast rivalling Ibiza as the clubbing holiday capital of Europe.’
    • ‘But the album stops someway short of rivalling the classic status of its predecessor due to the fact that certain tracks feel as though the band are on auto-pilot.’
    • ‘Their many restaurants are sophisticated and serve dishes rivalling the best to be found in Europe.’
    • ‘At one time Ani had a population of over 100,000, rivalling Baghdad and Constantinople.’
    • ‘It had started off as a concept of Londoners sending in articles that would be published once a week, but it grew and changed into a daily newspaper, with a readership rivalling the daily tabloids.’
    • ‘Their most accomplished works, rich in vibrant colour, complex imagery and spatial interplay, rivalled the most renowned painted panels of the period.’
    • ‘From 1871 the Royal Theatre was rivalled by the Gaiety.’
    • ‘Constantinople, now Istanbul, is probably rivalled only by Rome as the central hub shaping European and world history since civilisation began.’
    • ‘The tulips bloomed a brilliant symphony of colours and rivalled the loveliness of the birds who frequented the yard.’
    • ‘No one quite rivalled them when in came to snobbishness.’
    • ‘The '90s was an era of growth and prosperity rivalling the first Gold Rush of 1849.’
    • ‘Today his reputation as a composer is only rivalled by his propensity for writing musical dramas of an unparalleled length.’
    • ‘These changes gave them better conditions and a higher status, and henceforth they rivalled the priest and mayor as leaders of village life.’
    • ‘His black shoes had been polished so that they rivaled my golden gown when shine was compared.’
    compete with, vie with, match, be a match for, equal, emulate, measure up to, come up to, compare with, bear comparison with, be comparable to, be comparable with, parallel, be in the same league as, be in the same category as, be on a par with, be on a level with, touch, keep pace with, keep up with
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: from Latin rivalis, originally in the sense ‘person using the same stream as another’, from rivus ‘stream’.