conflict

noun
con·​flict | \ˈkän-ˌflikt \

Definition of conflict 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : fight, battle, war an armed conflict

2a : competitive or opposing action of incompatibles : antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons) a conflict of principles

b : mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands His conscience was in conflict with his duty.

3 : the opposition of persons or forces that gives rise to the dramatic action in a drama or fiction The conflict in the play is between the king and the archbishop.

conflict

verb
con·​flict | \kən-ˈflikt, ˈkän-ˌflikt\
conflicted; conflicting; conflicts

Definition of conflict (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to be different, opposed, or contradictory : to fail to be in agreement or accord His statement conflicts with the facts.

2 archaic : to contend in warfare

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Other Words from conflict

Noun

conflictful \ˈkän-​ˌflikt-​fəl \ adjective
conflictual \kän-​ˈflik-​chə-​wəl, kən-​, -​chəl, -​shwəl, -​chü-​əl \ adjective

Verb

confliction \kən-​ˈflik-​shən, kän-​ \ noun
conflictive \kən-​ˈflik-​tiv, ˈkän-​ˌflik-​ \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for conflict

Noun

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

Examples of conflict in a Sentence

Noun

In 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. 2009 At 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, 1983 The 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.

Verb

Mr. 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 1995 Lily 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 The 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. l982 Reports conflicted on how many people were involved. his statement conflicts with the facts, as given in the police report
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When a war broke out after Argentina invaded British territories overseas in the early 1980s, Andrew flew several missions until the conflict was resolved. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Inside Queen Elizabeth's Complicated Relationships With Her Children," 18 Aug. 2018 Until the attack on President Maduro, this tactic has been observed only in conflict zones, from Iraq and Syria, to Ukraine. Ulrike Franke, The Verge, "The Caracas drone attack won’t be the last of its kind," 17 Aug. 2018 Only eight hours are dedicated to conflict-resolution training. Lincoln Anthony Blades, Teen Vogue, "How Policing in the U.S. and Security in Israel Are Connected," 16 July 2018 The root of the conflict is the Trump administration's assertion that China has long used predatory tactics in a drive to supplant America's technological supremacy. Author: Paul Wiseman, Josh Boakap, Anchorage Daily News, "US-China trade war elevates the risks to the global economy," 7 July 2018 He's stayed behind, continuing to work at the hospital near the center of the conflict. NBC News, "Humanitarian crisis escalates with regime airstrikes in southern Syria," 30 June 2018 The president’s son, Hafedh, who has risen to the top of the Nida Tounes party created by his father, has for months been in open conflict with Chahed, a one-time party figure. Bouazza Ben Bouazza, The Seattle Times, "Tunisia PM faces confidence vote amid political tensions," 12 Nov. 2018 The Sunday ceremony featured a performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and young people wrapped in yellow scarfs reading letters from soldiers who fought in the conflict. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Macron Sounds Warning on Nationalism as Leaders Mark Armistice Day," 11 Nov. 2018 Surveillance footage near the Aiello’s house stood in conflict with Tony Aiello saying his stepdaughter drove by with an unidentified passenger. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Fitbit data used to charge 90-year-old man in gruesome hacking murder case," 5 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After days of speculation and conflicting reports, Elon Musk has broken his silence about his plan to take Tesla private. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Elon Musk says he’s been talking to Saudi Arabia about taking Tesla private," 13 Aug. 2018 There were conflicting reports on whether Little removed the posts on his own or whether Gab itself deleted them. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Microsoft nearly banned Gab over post saying Jews should be raised as livestock," 10 Aug. 2018 This conflicts with previous claims that Cardi had been hit by security. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Cardi B and Nicki Minaj Settle Feud After Claims Cardi Was Also Offered Nicki's Little Mix Collab," 30 Oct. 2018 After seeing McCook take the screen in the reboot, viewers felt conflicted about whether the shift was too extreme. Megan Stein, Country Living, "‘Last Man Standing’ Fans Have Some Strong Feelings About Molly McCook Playing the New Mandy Baxter," 1 Oct. 2018 Highly conflicted Bob Mueller and his gang of 17 Angry Dems are having a field day as real corruption goes untouched. Emily Stewart, Vox, "After a rough week, Trump fumes about Cohen, Mueller, and Sessions on Twitter," 25 Aug. 2018 Riley’s film risks a fair percentage of its potential audience by making Green a conflicted, compromised figure who’s allowed to make his own mistakes. Michael Phillips, Detroit Free Press, "Review: Sci-fi and satire meet in ‘Sorry to Bother You’," 12 July 2018 There should be more television space dedicated to Sunday’s championship given the early start won’t conflict much with the ponies. Ed Barkowitz, Philly.com, "Comparing the sportsbooks at Atlantic City's Borgata and Ocean Resort ahead of the World Cup final," 11 July 2018 Information also conflicts regarding whether Cruz was present at Westglades on Dec. 3 because the attendance system used by the school district defaults to present unless manually changed. Colleen Wright, miamiherald, "Broward's PROMISE program "irrelevant" to Nikolas Cruz's massacre, commission says," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conflict.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of conflict

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for conflict

Noun

Middle English, from Latin conflictus act of striking together, from confligere to strike together, from com- + fligere to strike — more at profligate

Verb

see conflict entry 1

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Learn More about conflict

Statistics for conflict

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conflict

The first known use of conflict was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for conflict

conflict

noun

English Language Learners Definition of conflict

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a struggle for power, property, etc.

: strong disagreement between people, groups, etc., that results in often angry argument

: a difference that prevents agreement : disagreement between ideas, feelings, etc.

conflict

verb

English Language Learners Definition of conflict (Entry 2 of 2)

: to be different in a way that prevents agreement : to say or express opposite things

: to happen at the same time as something else

conflict

noun
con·​flict | \ˈkän-ˌflikt \

Kids Definition of conflict

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an extended struggle : battle

2 : a clashing disagreement (as between ideas or interests)

conflict

verb
con·​flict | \kən-ˈflikt \
conflicted; conflicting

Kids Definition of conflict (Entry 2 of 2)

: to be in opposition Their goals conflict. The meeting conflicts with my appointment.

conflict

noun
con·​flict | \ˈkän-ˌflikt \

Medical Definition of conflict 

: mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands

Other Words from conflict

conflictful \ˈkän-​ˌflikt-​fəl \ adjective
conflictless \ˈkän-​ˌflik-​tləs \ adjective
conflictual \kän-​ˈflik-​ch(ə-​w)əl, kən-​ \ adjective

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Comments on conflict

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