Con"test(?), n. 1. Earnest dispute; strife in argument; controversy; debate; altercation.
Leave all noisy contests, all immodest clamors and brawling language.I. Watts.
2. 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.Hallam.
It was fully expected that the contest there would be long and fierce.Macaulay.
Syn. -- Conflict; combat; battle; encounter; shock; struggle; dispute; altercation; debate; controvesy; difference; disagreement; strife. -- Contest, Conflict, Combat, Encounter. Contest is the broadest term, and had originally no reference to actual fighting. It was, on the contrary, a legal term signifying to call witnesses, and hence came to denote first a struggle in argument, and then a struggle for some common object between opposing parties, usually one of considerable duration, and implying successive stages or acts. Conflict denotes literally a close personal engagement, in which sense it is applied to actual fighting. It is, however, more commonly used in a figurative sense to denote strenuous or direct opposition; as, a mental conflict; conflicting interests or passions; a conflict of laws. An encounter is a direct meeting face to face. Usually it is a hostile meeting, and is then very nearly coincident with conflict; as, an encounter of opposing hosts. Sometimes it is used in a looser sense; as, "this keen encounter of our wits."
Shak. Combat is commonly applied to actual fighting, but may be used figuratively in reference to a strife or words or a struggle of feeling.
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Thu 14th November 2019