Difference between Participant and Contestant

Key Difference: A participant is a person, any person who participates in an event. This event can be anything from an argument to the Olympic Games. A contestant, on the other hand, is a person who competed in a contest or competition.

 The main definition of the terms ‘participant’ and ‘contestant’ is fairly simple and straightforward; a participant refers to someone who participates in an activity or event; whereas a contestant is a person who takes part in a contest. However, the terms are often confused as their definitions are too broad. This results in then often being used interchangeably and synonymously.

A participant is straightforward; a participant is a person, any person who participates in an event. This event can be anything from an argument to the Olympic Games. If they took part in it, then they were a participant.

A contestant, on the other hand, is a person who competed in a contest or competition. In order to be a contestant, there must be some element of competition. If it is a non- competition event, then it is better to use the term participant.

However, as a competition is an activity or event, and the contestant does participate in the competition, it can be said that a contestant is in fact a participant. Hence, all contestants are participants, but not all participants are contestants.

Comparison between Participant and Contestant:

 

Participant

Contestant

Definition (Merriam-Webster)

  • A person who is involved in an activity or event
  • A person who participates in an activity or event
  • A person who takes part in a contest

Description

Participated in an activity or event

Competed in a contest or competition

Examples

  • He participates in class everyday.
  • She participated in the school play.
  • Mary participated in the Summer Olympics.
  • Tom was a participant in the prank as well.
  • John was a contestant on the show.
  • She was a contestant in the talent show.
  • Joan was a contestant on Jeopardy.

Image Courtesy: socialsci.com, aragec.com

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