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noun \ˈstrīf\

Simple Definition of strife

  • : very angry or violent disagreement between two or more people or groups

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of strife

  1. 1a :  bitter sometimes violent conflict or dissension <political strife>b :  an act of contention :  fight, struggle

  2. 2 :  exertion or contention for superiority

  3. 3 archaic :  earnest endeavor

strifeless play \ˈstrī-fləs\ adjective

Examples of strife in a sentence

  1. <in order to avoid family strife, the children spend equal time during the holidays with both of their grandmothers>

  2. <bitter strife between the two political factions>

Origin of strife

Middle English strif, from Anglo-French estrif, estri, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch striden to fight, Old High German strītan to quarrel — more at stride

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of strife

discord, strife, conflict, contention, dissension, variance mean a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony. discord implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism <a political party long racked by discord>. strife emphasizes a struggle for superiority rather than the incongruity or incompatibility of the persons or things involved <during his brief reign the empire was never free of civil strife>. conflict usually stresses the action of forces in opposition but in static applications implies an irreconcilability as of duties or desires <the conflict of freedom and responsibility>. contention applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy <several points of contention about the new zoning law>. dissension implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions <religious dissension threatened to split the colony>. variance implies a clash between persons or things owing to a difference in nature, opinion, or interest <cultural variances that work against a national identity>.

Rhymes with strife

STRIFE Defined for Kids


noun \ˈstrīf\

Definition of strife for Students

  1. :  bitter and sometimes violent disagreement <political strife>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up strife? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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