opponent

opponent, antagonist, adversary all denote one who expresses or manifests opposition. Unlike enemy they do not necessarily imply personal animosity or hostility.
An opponent is one who is on the opposite side in a contest (as an argument, disputation, or election) or in a conflict (as of opinion)
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since [in France] opposition is never considered to be legitimate, the Government has no opponents—only enemies— Revel

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opponents of the desegregation decision have . . . largely founded their dissent on the principle that law cannot move faster than public opinion— Roche & Gordon

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Antagonist implies sharper opposition, especially in a struggle or combat for supremacy or control
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where you find your antagonist beginning to grow warm, put an end to the dispute by some genteel badinage— Chesterfield

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a swift voracious fish, a formidable antagonist for the angler— J. L. B. Smith

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Adversary ranges in connotation from the idea of mere opposition to that of active hostility
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do as adversaries do in law, strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends— Shak.

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your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour—/ Pet 5:8

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Analogous words: *enemy, foe: rival, competitor, emulator (see corresponding verbs at RIVAL)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • opponent — [ə pō′nənt] n. [< L opponens, prp. of opponere < ob (see OB ) + ponere, to place: see POSITION] a person who opposes; person against one in a fight, game, debate, argument, etc.; adversary adj. 1. Rare opposite, as in position 2. opposing;… …   English World dictionary

  • Opponent — Op*po nent, n. 1. One who opposes; an adversary; an antagonist; a foe. Macaulay. [1913 Webster] 2. One who opposes in a disputation, argument, or other verbal controversy; specifically, one who attacks some thesis or proposition, in distinction… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Opponent — (lat. opponere: entgegensetzen, einwenden) ist die Bezeichnung für einen Argumentationsgegner. Der Ausdruck wird in einem Promotionsverfahren und in der Dialogischen Logik verwendet. Gutachter im Promotionsverfahren Bei einer Promotion hatte oder …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Opponent — Op*po nent, a. [L. opponens, entis, p. pr. of opponere to set or place against, to oppose; ob (see {Ob }) + ponere to place. See {Position}.] Situated in front; opposite; hence, opposing; adverse; antagonistic. Pope. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Opponént — (lat.), bei einer Disputation Gegner des Disputanten; opponieren, widersprechen …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • opponent — I noun adversarius, adversary, adverse party, challenger, combatant, contender, cornval, disputant, one who opposes, opposer, opposing litigant, opposing party, opposite, opposite side, opposition, other side II index adversary, contender, cont …   Law dictionary

  • opponent — (n.) 1580s, from L. opponentem (nom. opponens), prp. of opponere oppose, object to, set against, from ob against (see OB (Cf. ob )) + ponere to put, set, place (see POSITION (Cf. position)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • opponent — [n] person with whom one competes adversary, antagonist, anti*, aspirant, assailant, bandit*, bidder, candidate, challenger, competitor, con, contestant, counteragent, dark horse*, disputant, dissentient, enemy, entrant, foe, litigant, match,… …   New thesaurus

  • opponent — ► NOUN 1) a person who competes with or fights another in a contest, game, or argument. 2) a person who disagrees with or resists a proposal or practice. ORIGIN from Latin opponere set against …   English terms dictionary

  • opponent — op|po|nent W3 [əˈpəunənt US əˈpou ] n [Date: 1500 1600; : Latin; Origin: , present participle of opponere; OPPOSE] 1.) someone who you try to defeat in a competition, game, fight, or argument ▪ Graf s opponent in today s final will be Sukova.… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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