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the United States was tracking a “specific” and “credible” threat at the airport from the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan, which has carried out dozens of attacks in recent years and is a rival of the Taliban.

What did the rival mean?

  1. a person, group, etc. competing with others for the same thing or in the same area
  2. to be as good, clever, beautiful, etc. as someone or something else

how to know which meaning is that I'm searching for? Sometimes there are just many meanings of the same word. And put each of them in the sentence are both make sense. So, can you tell me a concrete way to avoid choosing wrong meaning?

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  • Have you checked a dictionary? What did you find? What are you still confused about?
    – gotube
    Aug 30, 2021 at 4:15
  • Yeah, the above were cited from dictionary.
    – user142281
    Aug 30, 2021 at 15:14
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    One of those definitions is a noun, and the other is a verb. Which is "rival" in your sentence?
    – gotube
    Aug 31, 2021 at 1:53
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    It's a noun, so they are competing for resources, in this case, control of land. The verbal meaning is not about competition. It only means they're similar in some way. To compare the Islamic State and Taliban with "rival" in the second meaning, you might say, "The Taliban rival the Islamic State in ruthlessness." This sentence only means they're similarly ruthless, NOT that they're both trying to win some ruthlessness competition.
    – gotube
    Aug 31, 2021 at 4:08
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    Your explanation really helps a lot, thank you.
    – user142281
    Aug 31, 2021 at 4:22

1 Answer 1

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It's a noun, so they are competing for resources, in this case, control of land. The verbal meaning is not about competition. It only means they're similar in some way. To compare the Islamic State and Taliban with "rival" in the second meaning, you might say, "The Taliban rival the Islamic State in ruthlessness." This sentence only means they're similarly ruthless, NOT that they're both trying to win some ruthlessness competition.

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  • Answer was posted as a comment.
    – James K
    Dec 5, 2021 at 8:32

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