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Particularly in the context of business. I don't like the word competition or competitor in this sense because I believe in an expanding pie, rather than a fixed pie that everyone is competing to get as much of a slice of.

What is a word I can use that is more positive than competition and competitor? I was thinking peers. Suggestions?

Edit My answer clearly states the context of business. Player satisfies my question.

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Comrade.......? – WS2 Aug 8 '14 at 23:24
Based on your acceptance of an answer that does not answer your question as posed, it seems that what you asked is not at all what you wanted to ask. None of the answers given so far express the notion of competitor or competition (in a more polite way or not), which is what you said you were after. There are plenty of words (colleague, collaborator, partner, co-participant, peer,...) that express an agent that interacts with you as an equal, but none of those given so far imply competitiveness or even the presence of competition. – Drew Aug 9 '14 at 5:34
@WS2, I see your Comrade and raise with co-conspirator – jwpat7 Aug 9 '14 at 14:42
@Drew I think player is a very good alternative. It is a good replacement in my opinion because it has the idea that there is competition but without the negative connotation. – Richard DesLonde Aug 10 '14 at 6:53
When someone starts discussing the importance of "competition" in our economy, I suggest they look around the room and show me one thing that is not present thanks to extraordinary cooperation between businesses. For a simple doorknob the metal was mined, refined, molded into the requisite shape (which first had to be designed), then packaged (the packaging from a different "supply chain"), warehoused, wholesaled, and retailed, with transportation between virtually every step. All coordinated not by some massive central computer but by simple human cooperation. – Hot Licks Feb 28 at 22:28
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Probably player is an appropriate definition without the 'negative' implications of competitor.

  • An active participant: a major player in world affairs.
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Ha! I like it very much! – Richard DesLonde Aug 8 '14 at 19:55
It does not answer the question as posed. It does not express the meaning of competitor or competition at all. – Drew Aug 9 '14 at 5:29
@Drew It does answer my question. I wanted something that expressed the idea of competition without the negative aspect. Player seems to fit perfectly. – Richard DesLonde Aug 10 '14 at 6:52
@RichardDesLonde player does not express the idea of competition. Why do you think it does? – curiousdannii Aug 10 '14 at 6:55
In finance and business you often refer to a player to indicate an active participant in a market. As such a player competes with other players ( to gain market share, to increase the top line, to attract the best managers etc). At the same time the term 'player' has a more neutral meaning with respect to competitor, and that is what OP is looking for!! – Josh61 Aug 10 '14 at 7:06

Peers probably works as a word that would be knowable as others who work similarly to you. Or others in the industry.

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Colleague or participant are options.


I feel obligated to now defend myself. If you downvoted this, I don't think you understand what is really being asked. While, on the line level, simple synonyms would do, what is really wanted is a way to describe people who work together in the same sector, often at odds, but not for a singular first place which, really, is the core meaning of competition. So I considered what other circumstances would create an environment where people are at odds, but there being a "winner" does not necessarily mean that everyone else is a loser, and the academic realm came to mind. And what do you call peers of an academic persuasion? You call them colleagues.

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Why the downvote? Seems a reasonable option. – Richard DesLonde Aug 8 '14 at 20:11
My downvote is because colleague means something totally different from competition / competitor. I assume that's the reason for the first downvote. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 8 '14 at 21:22
Me too. Likewise the other answers so far, which are all along the same lines, get a downvote too. Too bad, as it seems (now that such an answer has been accepted) that the question too needs a downvote. It asked for a term that means competition or competitor; no such term has been given so far; and apparently none was really wanted in the first place. – Drew Aug 9 '14 at 5:39
@Drew Stackexchange nazis that offer no value and are only here to criticize, downvote, and close questions are largely the reason people are not participating as much as they were in the beginning. Do you have something valuable to add to the conversation/answer? Do you have a suggestion? – Richard DesLonde Aug 10 '14 at 7:57

industry counterparts. Industry Counterparts are people and companies in your market niche. They are in your space and they serve many of the same types of people you do, although they can have very diverse backgrounds.

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In Good term for a business partner and competitor?, some odd terms like frenemies, co-opetition and compartnitor are suggested. Those terms are attempts to combine concepts of competition and cooperation both.

The previously-mentioned terms colleague and peer are also given in answers to that question, along with associate and affiliate.

[Link sources: ELU, Wiktionary]

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protected by Rathony May 28 at 5:32

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