ADJ. close, closely fought, equal, even | one-sided, unequal The contest was too one-sided to be exciting. | open This contest is wide open: any of half a dozen teams could win it. | fair The other bidders for the contract complained that it had not been a fair contest. | exciting, good, great, thrilling | bitter | head-to-head The contestants are eliminated one by one until the last two compete in a head-to-head contest. | global, international, local, national, regional | election/electoral, gubernatorial, leadership, political, presidential | beauty, song, sporting, talent
VERB + CONTEST have, hold, run We have three major beauty contests a year. Sporting contests are held in the arena. | compete in, enter, take part in A third candidate has entered the contest for the Republican nomination. | win, lose
CONTEST + VERB take place
PREP. during a/the ~ During the election contest newspapers are not allowed to publish public opinion polls. | in a/the ~ Both sides are predicting victory in this close contest. | out of a/the ~ Jackson has injured his knee and is now out of the contest. | ~ against They won the doubles contest against the Williams sisters. | ~ between the contest between these two great boxers | ~ for the contest for the leadership of the party | ~ over In the animal kingdom intruders usually lose contests over territories. | ~ with The New Zealanders are looking forward to future contests with South Africa.
PHRASES be no contest (= used when one side in a contest is much stronger than the other and is sure to win), the winner of a contest
1 in a competition
ADV. bitterly, fiercely, hotly, keenly The election was bitterly contested. | successfully, unsuccessfully
ADV. fiercely, hotly, strongly, vigorously His views on evolution are strongly contested by other scientists. | successfully, unsuccessfully Defence lawyers successfully contested the case.