Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1600-1700
Language: Late Latin
Origin: competere 'to try (with others) to get', from Latin, 'to come together, agree, be suitable', from com- ( COM-) + petere 'to go to, look for'

compete

verb
     
com‧pete S3 W3 [intransitive]
1

business

if one company or country competes with another, it tries to get people to buy its goods or services rather than those available from another company or country [↪ competition, competitor, competitive]
compete with/against
They found themselves competing with foreign companies for a share of the market.
The Renault Clio competes against such cars as the Peugeot 206.
compete for
The stores have to compete for customers in the Christmas season.
compete in
The company must be able to compete in the international marketplace.
compete to do something
Several advertising agencies are competing to get the contract.
can't compete (with something) (=be unable to be more successful)
Small, independent bookstores simply can't compete with the big national chains.
2

person

to try to gain something and stop someone else from having it or having as much of it [↪ competition, competitive]
compete for
She and her sister are always competing for attention.
compete against
I had to compete against 19 other people for the job.
compete with
As a stepmother, don't even try to compete with the children's mother for their love.
3

in a competition

to take part in a competition or sports event [↪ competitor]
compete in/at
How many runners will be competing in the marathon?
Professional athletes may now compete at the Olympics.
compete against
He'll be competing against the world's best.
4

somebody/something can't compete with somebody/something

to not be as interesting, attractive etc as someone or something else:
Melinda was plain and knew she couldn't compete with her sister where boys were concerned.

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