competing vs competitive


New Member
Hi all,

I have a question about the nuance of these two words.

For example, let's use them in a context :

"This is a competitive environment"
"This is a competing environement"

Is it used right for both ? Does it mean the same thing ? If not, what is the difference between thes words ?

Thanks a lot

  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    They mean different things.

    "This is a competitive environment" - This is an environment where competition is an essential element

    "This is a competing environment" - This environment is in competition with some other environment, apparently. (It's difficult to imagine where you would use this.)

    In casual conversation, the second sentence might be said with the same intended meaning as the first.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The environment is competitive, the things in it (companies, plant species, or whatever) are competing. They are competing with/against each other. They are also competitive if they are keen to compete or good at competing.


    New Member
    Hi, Can I use 'competing' in this sentence 'Their parents are often supportive realizing that good looks can help their children to be competitive and successful in society.' instead of competitive?
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    The word "competing" is a verbal adjective or noun derived from the verb "compete." When used as an adjective, it means "who/that is/are competing."


    The competing companies ( = the companies that are competing with each other) increased their advertising budgets.
    People competing in a marathon ( = people who are competing in a marathon) need to stay hydrated.