Difference between Rival and Competitor

Key Difference: The terms Rival and Competitor are actually synonymous. They both refer to someone who tries to defeat or to be more successful than another. The term rival usually has a more negative connotation, which implies that the rivals hate and despise each other and must beat the other at something. However, the term competitor implies that while they are competing with each other, they need not hate the other.

The terms Rival and Competitor are actually synonymous. They both refer to someone who tries to defeat or to be more successful than another. Rivals and Competitors are two people who compete with each other and try to beat the other at something.

While, both terms can be used interchangeably, there are some instances where the usage of one is better suited than the other. The term rival usually has a more negative connotation, which implies that the rivals hate and despise each other and must beat the other at something. For example: they were rivals for her love.

However, the term competitor implies that while they are competing with each other, they need not hate the other. The competition could be good hearted or beneficial to both, as it might push them to do better. For example: those two are best of friends and each other’s biggest competitors.

The term competitor is also commonly used in the industry, where it refers to two or more companies that compete in the same market to but or sell goods and services. For example: Samsung is Apple’s biggest competitor.

Comparison between Rival and Competitor:

 

Rival

Competitor

Description (Merriam-Webster)

A person or thing that tries to defeat or be more successful than another

 

Something or someone that is as good or almost as good as another person or thing

Someone who is trying to win or do better than all others especially in business or sports : someone who is competing

Description

A person who is competing for the same object or goal as another, or who tries to equal or outdo another.

Competitor is the person that is entirely opponent or challenger of another person. In broader sense, this term is mainly used in sports and business, where players and businesspersons always try to lead others.

Etymology

From Latin rīvālis, literally ‘person using the same stream as another’, from rīvus (“small stream, brook”).

From Middle French compétiteur, from Latin competitor, which is from competō (“strive after something together”).

Connotation

The term rival usually has a more negative connotation, which implies that the rivals hate and despise each other and must beat the other at something.

The term competitor implies that while they are competing with each other, they need not hate the other. The competition could be good hearted or beneficial to both, as it might push them to do better.

Image Courtesy: journalist.or.kr, callcenterqa.org

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