1826, "pertaining to or involving competition," from Latin competit-, past participle stem of competere (see compete) + -ive. Meaning "eager to compete, aggressive, ambitious" is by 1977. Related: Competitively; competitiveness.
1610s, " to enter or be put in rivalry with," from French compéter "be in rivalry with" (14c.), or directly from Late Latin competere "strive in common, strive after something in company with or together," in classical Latin "to meet or come together; agree or coincide; to be qualified," from com "with, together" (see com-) + petere "to strive, seek, fall upon, rush at, attack" (from PIE root *pet- "to rush, to fly").
According to OED, rare 17c., revived from late 18c. in sense "to strive (alongside another) for the attainment of something" and regarded early 19c. in Britain as a Scottish or American word. Market sense is from 1840s (perhaps a back-formation from competition); athletics sense attested by 1857. Intransitive use is by 1974. Related: Competed; competing.
word-forming element making adjectives from verbs, meaning "pertaining to, tending to; doing, serving to do," in some cases from Old French -if, but usually directly from Latin adjectival suffix -ivus (source also of Italian and Spanish -ivo). In some words borrowed from French at an early date it has been reduced to -y (as in hasty, tardy).
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Harper, D. (n.d.). Etymology of competitive. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved $(datetime), from https://www.etymonline.com/word/competitive