The verb contend means to compete in order to win something.
Synonyms are fight, argue, confront, or oppose.
The word origins from Old French (middle 15th century) contendre meaning “engage in rivalry, compete”, and directly from Latin contendere meaning “to stretch out, to shoot, hurl, throw, strive after mentally, measure or try one’s strength with, fight, vie with”. It comes from com- plus tendere meaning “to stretch”.
The audience finally saw the three chess players contend for the championship.
She wants to contend with her weaknesses.
He has a strong influence in the country to contend with.