Etymology
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contest (v.)

c. 1600, "fight or do battle for, strive to win or hold," from French contester "dispute, oppose," from Latin contestari (litem) "to call to witness, bring action," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + testari "to bear witness," from testis "a witness," (see testament).

The notion of the Latin compound is "calling witnesses" as the first step in a legal combat. Meaning "make a subject of contention or dispute, enter into competition for" is from 1610s. Sense of "to argue in opposition, call into question" is from 1660s. Related: Contestable; contested; contesting.

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contest (n.)

"strife; struggle for victory or superiority; an amicable contest for a prize, etc.," 1640s, from contest (v.).

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contested (adj.)

"disputed, made the object of contention or competition," 1670s, past-participle adjective from contest (v.). Specifically of elections from 1771, American English.

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contestation (n.)

1540s, "action of calling to witness," from Latin contestationem (nominative contestatio), "an attesting, testimony," noun of action from past-participle stem of contestari (see contest (v.)). Meaning "disputation, controversy" is from 1570s.

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contestant (n.)

"one who contests, a disputant, a litigant," 1660s, from contestant (adj.), 1660s, from French contestant, present participle of contester (see contest (v.)). Revived and popularized 1861, when it became a journalist's term for the combatants on either side in the U.S. Civil War.

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incontestable (adj.)

"not admitting of dispute or debate, too clear to be controverted," 1670s, from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + contestable (see contest (v.)). Perhaps from or modeled on French incontestable. Related: Incontestably.

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biathlon (n.)
"athletic contest in which participants ski and shoot," 1956, from bi- "two" + Greek athlon, literally "contest," but in this case abstracted from pentathlon.
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tournament (n.)
"medieval martial arts contest," c. 1200 (figurative), c. 1300 (literal), from Old French tornement "contest between groups of knights on horseback" (12c.), from tornoier "to joust, tilt, take part in tournaments" (see tourney). Modern use, in reference to games of skill, is recorded from 1761.
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rematch (n.)

"a return match," by 1910, in boxing, from re- "back, again" + match (n.) "contest."

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challenged (adj.)

1570s, "having been called to a contest," past-participle adjective from challenge (v.). As a euphemism for "disabled," 1985.

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