General English


  • noun a situation where companies or individuals are trying to do better than others, e.g. trying to win a larger share of the market, or to produce a better or cheaper product or to control the use of resources


  • noun the struggle for limited resources such as food, light or a mate, occurring between organisms of the same or different species


  • noun the action of companies or individuals who are trying to do better than others, to win a larger share of the market, to control the use of resources, etc.

Health Economics

  • (written as Competition)
    In economics, there is a variety of descriptors of types of market competition, most of which relate to competition amongst producers or sellers of goods and services: 'perfect', 'imperfect', 'monopolistic', 'duopolistic' 'oligopolistic' are the five most likely to be encountered. Perfect competition (sometimes 'atomistic competition') is the modelling of a situation in which there are sufficiently large numbers of producers for the activity of any one not to affect the market price. It is sometimes also called price-taking. Imperfect competition refers to a situation in which the activity of any one of several producers will affect the price. Monopoly stands at the end of the spectrum farthest from perfect competition, and refers to a situation in which there is a single seller. A duopoly exists when there are but two producers. An oligopoly exists when there are just a few. The idea that there is a direct link between the number of sellers and the 'amount' of competition is not a very good one. It is usually more insightful to consider the nature of the influence that one producer may have on another, or on consumers or employees, and the ease of access to information about competitors' activities and plans, than simply to consider numbers. Nonetheless, within broad bands, numbers of producers in similar fields do form the basis for measuring the c oncentration ratio of an industry. There can also be degrees of competition between buyers. For ex ample, one of the arguments for concentrating purchasing power for health care in the hands of a managed health care organization, or the state at regional or national level, is that this creates substantial influence over the prices that can be obtained from producers and the wages and salaries that must be paid to health service professionals. When buyers are sufficiently large in relation to the market so as to affect price, the condition is termed monopsony. Economists tend to regard competition with favour, though there are some markets in which competition can be extremely damaging, of which the most important is probably the insurance market.

Information & Library Science

  • noun a situation where two or more companies with similar products try to persuade people to buy theirs
  • noun an informal test of skill or ability


  • noun the process of attempting to do better and be more successful than another company