Contain vs Contest - What's the difference?

contain | contest |

As verbs the difference between contain and contest

is that contain is (lb) to hold inside while contest is to contend.

As a noun contest is

(uncountable) controversy; debate.




(en verb)
  • (lb) To hold inside.
  • *
  • At half-past nine on this Saturday evening, the parlour of the Salutation Inn, High Holborn, contained most of its customary visitors.In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-20, volume=408, issue=8845, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Welcome to the plastisphere , passage=[The researchers] noticed many of their pieces of [plastic marine] debris sported surface pits around two microns across. Such pits are about the size of a bacterial cell. Closer examination showed that some of these pits did, indeed, contain bacteria,
  • (lb) To include as a part.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2014-04-21, volume=411, issue=8884, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Subtle effects , passage=Manganism has been known about since the 19th century, when miners exposed to ores containing manganese, a silvery metal, began to totter, slur their speech and behave like someone inebriated.}}
  • (lb) To put constraint upon; to restrain; to confine; to keep within bounds.
  • * (Edmund Spenser) (c.1552–1599)
  • The king's person contains the unruly people from evil occasions.
  • * (William Shakespeare) (1564-1616)
  • Fear not, my lord: we can contain ourselves.
  • *
  • Athelstan Arundel walked home all the way, foaming and raging. No omnibus, cab, or conveyance ever built could contain a young man in such a rage. His mother lived at Pembridge Square, which is four good measured miles from Lincoln's Inn.
  • To have as an element.
  • To restrain desire; to live in continence or chastity.
  • * Bible, vii. 9.
  • But if they can not contain , let them marry.


    * (hold inside) enclose, inhold * (include as part) comprise, embody, incorporate, inhold * (limit by restraint) control, curb, repress, restrain, restrict, stifle


    * (include as part) exclude, omit * (limit by restraint) release, vent




  • (uncountable) Controversy; debate.
  • no contest
  • (uncountable) Struggle for superiority; combat.
  • (countable) A competition.
  • The child entered the spelling contest .


    * (controversy) controversy, debate, discussion * (combat) battle, combat, fight * (competition) competition, pageant

    Derived terms

    (Terms derived from the noun "contest") * contest shape * fashion contest * no contest * pissing contest * popularity contest * wet t-shirt contest * will contest


    (en verb)
  • To contend.
  • I will contest for the open seat on the board.
  • * Alexander Pope
  • Of man, who dares in pomp with Jove contest ?
  • * Bishop Burnet
  • The difficulty of an argument adds to the pleasure of contesting with it, when there are hopes of victory.
  • To call into question; to oppose.
  • The rival contested the dictator's re-election because of claims of voting irregularities.
  • * J. D. Morell
  • Few philosophical aphorisms have been more frequently repeated, few more contested than this.
  • To strive earnestly to hold or maintain; to struggle to defend.
  • The troops contested every inch of ground.
  • (legal) To make a subject of litigation; to defend, as a suit; to dispute or resist, as a claim, by course of law; to controvert.
  • Synonyms

    * (contend) compete, contend, go in for * (oppose) call into question, oppose


    * (oppose) support