Meaning of “compete” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"compete" in British English

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competeverb [ I ]

uk /kəmˈpiːt/ us /kəmˈpiːt/

B2 to try to be more successful than someone or something else:

It's difficult for a small shop to compete against/with the big supermarkets.
Both girls compete for their father's attention.
figurative Turn the music down - I'm not competing against/with that noise (= I can't/won't try to speak louder than that music)!

B1 to take part in a race or competition:

Are you competing in the 100 metres?
The two athletes are competing for the gold medal.

More examples

  • Men and women ought to be able to compete for jobs on an equal footing.
  • The company has to be able to compete globally.
  • The company lacks the marketing muscle to compete with drug giants.
  • We're only a small business and don't have the capital to compete with the big boys.
  • For the magazine to be successful, it will have to compete in the big league against leading weekly women's magazines.

(Definition of “compete” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"compete" in American English

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competeverb [ I ]

us /kəmˈpit/

to do an activity with others and try to do better than they do:

Two TV stations are competing for the top spot in the state of Iowa.

To compete is also to be part of a sports activity in which you are trying to win:

He will compete in track this spring and play football next fall.

(Definition of “compete” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"compete" in Business English

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competeverb [ I ]

uk /kəmˈpiːt/ us

to try to be more successful than someone or something else:

It's difficult to compete when there are so many similar businesses.
Small local supermarkets are working hard to compete with the giant chains.
Startup companies must compete against established companies which have had many years to build up their markets.

(Definition of “compete” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)