Student Dictionary

3 entries found for rival.
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Main Entry: 1ri·val
Pronunciation: primarystressrimacr-vschwal
Function: noun
Etymology: from early French rival "rival," from Latin rivalis "one using the same stream as another, a rival in love," from rivalis (adjective) "of a stream," from rivus "stream"
1 a : one of two or more trying to get what only one can have b : COMPETITOR
2 : one that equals another : PEER
Word History The English word rival can be traced to the Latin word rivus, meaning "a stream." From rivus came the Latin rivalis, which meant "one who uses the same stream as another." Those who must share a stream may argue about who has the right to use the water. Such disputes are common when two people want the same thing. The Latin word rivalis in time came to be used for other people who are also likely to fight with each other. It meant "a man in love with the same woman as another man." This sense of rivalis came into English as rival.

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