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
Examples of conflict in a Sentence
NounIn great wars—the American Civil War, the First and Second World Wars—the largest casualties are suffered just before the conflicts end.—Steve Forbes, Forbes, 19 Oct. 2009At a moment when the country was still in the throes of the conflict over Vietnam, it was refreshing to see the best of America.—Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, 2006… for work-family conflicts to disappear, two rock-ribbed institutions must change: the whole concept of children's care, and the way the workplace works.—Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Family Politics, 1983The basic conflict in the novel is, of course, between the life on the river, where Huck finds innocence, brotherhood with man, and communion with nature, and life ashore, where, stage by stage, he discovers the corruption of society …—Robert Penn Warren, Democracy and Poetry, (1975) 1976
a conflict between two gangs
recent violent conflict in the region
Everyone in my family always tries to avoid conflict.
There was inevitable conflict over what to name the group.
They're having serious conflicts over the budget.
I don't see any conflicts between the theories.
You'll need to resolve the conflict between your parents' plans for you and your own ambitions. VerbMr. van Wolferen says the U.S. must do more: It has to openly explain to Japan that it wants a managed-trade deal in order to end the bickering between the two nations, a move that would conflict with America's free-trade rhetoric.—David P. Hamilton, Wall Street Journal, 8 June 1995The expectations about motherhood as full-time job that this situation created conflicted with the philosophy of the women's movement of the l960's.—Anita Shreve, New York Times Magazine, 2l Nov. 1982Lily smiled faintly at the injunction to take her tea strong. It was the temptation she was always struggling to resist. Her craving for the keen stimulant was forever conflicting with that other craving for sleep …—Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth, 1905
Reports conflicted on how many people were involved.
his statement conflicts with the facts, as given in the police report See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Understand what’s behind the Israel-Gaza war and see the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.—Mohamad El Chamaa, Washington Post, 23 Nov. 2023 Miners are subject to a complex web of requirements underpinning hundreds of standards that sometimes overlap and conflict with one another.—Yusuf Khan, WSJ, 23 Nov. 2023 The video makes no direct reference to any particular ongoing war or armed conflict, including recent horrors in Gaza.—Asawin Suebsaeng, Rolling Stone, 23 Nov. 2023 The political right says there should be no negotiations with Hamas, favoring a military-only solution to the conflict and hostage impasse.—Alexander Smith, NBC News, 23 Nov. 2023 The reality is quite different: Owens and Shapiro disagree profoundly on the conflict between Hamas and Israel, and Owens is more than dabbling with antisemitism by siding against Israel.—Dan McLaughlin, National Review, 22 Nov. 2023 Today’s war in Gaza is a continuation of the many wars and conflicts that have ensued since.—Maeghan Dolph, Fox News, 22 Nov. 2023 As casualties increase, for Ukrainian soldiers and medics the conflict is anything but static.—Kevin Roose, New York Times, 21 Nov. 2023 True, the for-profit/nonprofit relationship isn’t always this riddled with conflict.—Maria Aspan, Fortune, 21 Nov. 2023
Coming up, how is conflict overseas playing out here at home?—ABC News, 19 Nov. 2023 But its tenants’ rights rhetoric has conflicted with the realities in its buildings and its pattern of evictions.—Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2023 Makeup school days in June tend to conflict with summer school, summer camps, summer jobs and family vacations.—Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, 8 Nov. 2023 But varying interpretations of what users want and conflicting business imperatives have left a patchwork of different ad experiences.—WIRED, 3 Nov. 2023 Well there’s a lot of conflicting things [concerning weather and deer activity].—Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, 2 Nov. 2023 The Corps ruled it out as a long-term solution for most of its 13 Willamette River dams, saying further reservoir drawdowns would conflict with other interests.—Tony Schick, ProPublica, 31 Oct. 2023 The financial data reported to the California Department of Justice also conflict with information reported on the tax filings the charity provided to the Union-Tribune.—Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Oct. 2023 Critics blame the bottleneck on slow bureaucracy, poorly implemented and conflicting forest laws, and corporate land grabbing.—Kalpana Jain, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Oct. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conflict.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English conflicte, conflyte "battle, struggle, assault," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French conflykte, conflict, borrowed from Latin conflīctus "striking together, clash," from conflīgere "to strike together, bring into collision, do battle, contend" (from con-con- + flīgere "to strike, dash down") + -tus, suffix of action nouns — more at profligate entry 1
Middle English conflicten "to engage in battle, fight," borrowed from Latin conflīctus, past participle of conflīgere "to strike together, bring into collision, do battle, contend" — more at conflict entry 1