adversary, antagonist, challenger, competitor, contestant, disputant, dissentient, enemy, foe, opposer, rival, the opposition
accomplice, ally, associate, colleague, friend, helper, mate, supporter
English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus
opponent ( opponents plural )
1 n-count A politician's opponents are other politicians who belong to a different party or who have different aims or policies.
usu with poss
...Mr Kennedy's opponent in the leadership contest..., He described the detention without trial of political opponents as a cowardly act.
2 n-count In a sporting contest, your opponent is the person who is playing against you.
usu poss N
Norris twice knocked down his opponent in the early rounds of the fight...
3 n-count The opponentsof an idea or policy do not agree with it and do not want it to be carried out.
usu N of n (Antonym: supporter)
...opponents of the spread of nuclear weapons...
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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"