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Contest Con*test", v. i. 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. --Bp. Burnet. Of man, who dares in pomp with Jove contest? --Pope., Contest Con*test", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Contested; p. pr. & vb. n. Contesting.] [F. contester, fr. L. contestari to call to witness, contestari litem to introduce a lawsuit by calling witnesses, to bring an action; con- + testari to be a witness, testic witness. See Testify.] 1. 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. --Locke. Few philosophical aphorisms have been more frequenty repeated, few more contested than this. --J. D. Morell. 2. To strive earnestly to hold or maintain; to struggle to defend; as, the troops contested every inch of ground. 3. (Law) 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 contest an election. (Polit.) (a) To strive to be elected. (b) To dispute the declared result of an election. Syn: To dispute; controvert; debate; litigate; oppose; argue; contend., Contest 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. Usage: 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.