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1. A plea in a criminal court case, in which the defendant accepts a conviction without offering a defense, but also without admitting guilt. The college student plead no contest to charges of manslaughter and aggravated assault.
2. An outcome in a combat sport, especially boxing, in which there is neither a winner nor a loser due to reasons outside of the combatants' control. The referee declared no contest when the power went out in the stadium. The referee accidentally hit one of the fighters in the eye with his elbow, so he had to declare a no contest.
3. A situation in which one side is overwhelmingly more likely to succeed over the other. A: "Who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman?" B: "Superman, no contest." Everyone assumed it was no contest that Robertson would win, given his size, experience, and ability. Yet against all odds, Ramirez defeated him in the final seconds of the match.
1. Lit. [in games] a situation where one team fails to appear for a competition. It was declared no contest because the opposing team was stuck in traffic out on the expressway.
2. Fig. a situation where the winner-to-be of a contest is obvious even before holding the contest. It was no contest. The wrestler was so big and strong that no one could have defeated him.
no contest1 a decision by the referee to declare a boxing match invalid on the grounds that one or both of the boxers are not making serious efforts. 2 a competition, comparison, or choice of which the outcome is a foregone conclusion.
This expression is mainly found in the USA, and is perhaps influenced by the plea of nolo contendere (I do not wish to contend) in US law, meaning that the defendant in a criminal prosecution accepts conviction but does not admit guilt.