Definition of contest verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    contest

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//kənˈtest//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtest//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they contest
    BrE BrE//kənˈtest//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtest//
     
    he / she / it contests
    BrE BrE//kənˈtests//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtests//
     
    past simple contested
    BrE BrE//kənˈtestɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtestɪd//
     
    past participle contested
    BrE BrE//kənˈtestɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtestɪd//
     
    -ing form contesting
    BrE BrE//kənˈtestɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtestɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1contest something to take part in a competition, election, etc. and try to win it Three candidates contested the leadership. The party has decided not to contest this election. a hotly/fiercely/keenly contested game (= one in which the players try very hard to win and the scores are close)
  2. 2contest something to formally oppose a decision or statement because you think it is wrong to contest a will (= try to show that it was not correctly made in law) The divorce was not contested.
  3. Word Origin late 16th cent. (as a verb in the sense ‘swear to, attest’): from Latin contestari ‘call upon to witness, initiate (by calling witnesses)’, from con- ‘together’ + testare ‘to witness’. The senses ‘wrangle, struggle for’ arose in the early 17th cent., which gave rise to the current noun and verb senses.Extra examples Defence lawyers successfully contested the case. His views on evolution are strongly contested by other scientists. The election was bitterly contested. Her son contested the will, stating that she was not of sound mind when she signed it. It turned out to be another hotly contested tournament. There were almost 2 000 candidates contesting the remaining 80 positions.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: contest