Contest vs. Competition: What's the Difference?
A Contest is a specific event where individuals or teams compete for a prize or recognition, often with set rules. A Competition is a broader term that refers to the act or process of competing, which can occur in various contexts.
Contest and Competition are two terms often used interchangeably, but they have subtle differences. A Contest is a more specific term that refers to an event where individuals or teams participate to win a prize, title, or recognition. The rules, guidelines, and judging criteria are usually well-defined. On the other hand, Competition is a general term that describes the action or situation of striving against others for the same objective, such as resources, prizes, or recognition. It could be ongoing and less formalized than a Contest.
In terms of their grammatical usage, both Contest and Competition are primarily used as nouns, although "contest" can also serve as a verb. For example, one can contest a decision, but one generally doesn't "competition" a decision. The verb form related to Competition is "compete," which refers to the act of taking part in a Competition. It's more common to say that someone "competes in a Competition" than to say someone "contests in a Contest."
Contest often implies that there is a short-term, set event where the objective is clear and specific. Examples include a singing contest or a chess tournament. Competition, meanwhile, may be more ongoing and open-ended, such as a market competition between businesses or an academic competition that spans a semester. The scope of a Contest is usually narrower than that of a Competition.
In summary, Contest and Competition are distinct but related concepts. A Contest is typically a structured, short-term event with defined rules, whereas Competition can refer to a broader, ongoing rivalry or striving for the same objective. Both can occur in a variety of settings, from sports to business to academics, but they are used in slightly different contexts.
General act or process
May be less formalized
Can be ongoing
Primarily a noun, but can also be a verb
Primarily a noun
Contest and Competition Definitions
A competitive event with set rules.
He won first place in the pie-eating contest.
The act or process of competing.
She thrives on competition.
A struggle for superiority or victory.
The election was a close contest.
A business rivalry.
The marketplace is full of competition.
A game or match where skills are tested.
The spelling contest was open to all ages.
A struggle between organisms for resources.
In nature, competition for food is common.
A legal dispute.
She will contest the will in court.
A test or contest to determine qualifications.
The competition for the job was intense.
An examination or screening.
The contest included a rigorous interview process.
The act of competing, as for profit or a prize; rivalry.
A struggle for superiority or victory between rivals
England's contest with Spain for domination of the seas.
A test of skill or ability; a contest
A skating competition.
A competition, especially one in which entrants perform separately and are rated by judges
A spelling contest.
Rivalry between two or more businesses striving for the same customer or market.
To compete or strive for; struggle to gain or control
Trade routes that were contested by competing cultures.
The competition has cornered the market.
To call into question and take an active stand against; dispute or challenge
Contest a will.
(Ecology) The simultaneous demand by two or more organisms for a limited environmental resource, such as nutrients, living space, or light.
(Sports) To defend against (a shot), as in basketball.
(uncountable) The action of competing.
The competition for this job is strong.
To struggle or compete; contend
Contested with other bidders for the antique.
(countable) A contest for a prize or award.
The newspaper is featuring a competition to win a car.
(uncountable) Controversy; debate.
The competitors in such a contest.
The new stain remover was ten times more effective than the competition.
(uncountable) Struggle for superiority; combat.
The act of seeking, or endeavoring to gain, what another is endeavoring to gain at the same time; common strife for the same objects; strife for superiority; emulous contest; rivalry, as for approbation, for a prize, or as where two or more persons are engaged in the same business and each seeking patronage; - followed by for before the object sought, and with before the person or thing competed with.
Competition to the crown there is none, nor can be.
A portrait, with which one of Titian's could not come in competition.
There is no competition but for the second place.
Where competition does not act at all there is complete monopoly.
(countable) A competition.
The child entered the spelling contest.
A business relation in which two parties compete to gain customers;
Business competition can be fiendish at times
(intransitive) To contend.
I will contest for the open seat on the board.
An occasion on which a winner is selected from among two or more contestants
(transitive) To call into question; to oppose.
The rival contested the dictator's re-election because of claims of voting irregularities.
The act of competing as for profit or a prize;
The teams were in fierce contention for first place
(transitive) To strive earnestly to hold or maintain; to struggle to defend.
The troops contested every inch of ground.
The contestant you hope to defeat;
He had respect for his rivals
He wanted to know what the competition was doing
(law) To make a subject of litigation; to defend, as a suit; to dispute or resist, as a claim, by course of law.
An organized event in which participants compete.
He entered a swimming competition.
To make a subject of dispute, contention, litigation, or emulation; to contend for; to call in question; to controvert; to oppose; to dispute.
The people . . . contested not what was done.
Few philosophical aphorisms have been more frequenty repeated, few more contested than this.
To strive earnestly to hold or maintain; to struggle to defend; as, the troops contested every inch of ground.
To make a subject of litigation; to defend, as a suit; to dispute or resist; as a claim, by course of law; to controvert.
To engage in contention, or emulation; to contend; to strive; to vie; to emulate; - followed usually by with.
The difficulty of an argument adds to the pleasure of contesting with it, when there are hopes of victory.
Of man, who dares in pomp with Jove contest?
Earnest dispute; strife in argument; controversy; debate; altercation.
Leave all noisy contests, all immodest clamors and brawling language.
Earnest struggle for superiority, victory, defense, etc.; competition; emulation; strife in arms; conflict; combat; encounter.
The late battle had, in effect, been a contest between one usurper and another.
It was fully expected that the contest there would be long and fierce.
An occasion on which a winner is selected from among two or more contestants
A struggle between rivals
To make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation;
They contested the outcome of the race
Is the word Contest also a verb?
Yes, to contest means to challenge or dispute something.
What is a Competition?
A Competition is a general act or process of competing against others.
What's the verb for Competition?
The verb form is "compete."
Do all Contests have prizes?
Not necessarily; some may offer titles or recognition instead.
Is Competition always about winning?
Not always, it can also be about improving or gaining market share.
Can a Contest involve teams?
Yes, many Contests involve team participation.
What is a Contest?
A Contest is a specific event where participants compete for a prize or recognition.
How do Contest and Competition differ?
Contest is more specific and rule-bound, while Competition is more general and open-ended.
Can a Contest be a part of a Competition?
Yes, a Contest can be one element within a broader Competition.
Is a Contest always short-term?
Generally, yes, a Contest is often a set, short-term event.
Can a Competition be long-term?
Yes, Competitions can be ongoing.
Where can Competitions occur?
In even broader contexts, like business, nature, or long-term events.
Can a Competition involve teams?
Yes, Competitions can also involve team dynamics.
Is every Competition a Contest?
No, not all Competitions are Contests, but all Contests are forms of Competition.
Where can Contests occur?
In various settings, like sports, academics, or entertainment.
Written bySawaira Riaz
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