conflict

noun
con·​flict | \ ˈkän-ˌflikt How to pronounce conflict (audio) \

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 How to pronounce conflict (audio) , 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 How to pronounce conflictful (audio) \ adjective
conflictual \ kän-​ˈflik-​chə-​wəl How to pronounce conflictual (audio) , kən-​ , -​chəl , -​shwəl , -​chü-​əl \ adjective

Verb

confliction \ kən-​ˈflik-​shən How to pronounce confliction (audio) , kän-​ \ noun
conflictive \ kən-​ˈflik-​tiv How to pronounce conflictive (audio) , 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 USA TODAY Workers at the Fiat Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit stopped working mid-shift for about 90 minutes Wednesday morning amid conflict and concern related to coronavirus, sources in the plant confirmed with the Free Press. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "FCA's Jefferson Assembly grinds to halt as conflict hits the line, worker says," 18 Mar. 2020 No virus cases have been reported in Libya, where the health care system has been decimated by years of conflict. Nasser Karimi, Anchorage Daily News, "Virus fatalities spike in Iran, with official death toll now at 1,135," 18 Mar. 2020 For Iraq and Afghanistan, whose health care systems have been degraded by years of conflict and bad governance, the danger is acute. Isabel Coles, WSJ, "Iran’s Neighbors Struggle to Stop Coronavirus at Their Borders," 4 Mar. 2020 World over, the effect of disasters is displacing more people as compared to other reasons for displacement like conflict and violence. Hridayesh Joshi, Quartz India, "Climate change now displaces more people than war, and India should be worried," 20 Feb. 2020 But in the days since his acquittal, Trump has also provided fresh reminders of the conflicts and controversies that have marked his administration from the start. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Officially a battleground, Trump plants his flag in a purple Arizona," 19 Feb. 2020 The expansion trundled along despite global manufacturing downturns in 2016 and 2019, conflicts over trade, and a bout of monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve. The Economist, "Free exchange Wage gains for low earners have helped sustain America’s economic expansion," 13 Feb. 2020 Those two extremes are filled with conflict and storytelling opportunities. oregonlive, "Family of monster hunters takes on racism, hate in ‘Bitter Root,’ from Portland’s Image Comics," 11 Feb. 2020 State Department The fiscal 2021 budget justification for the State Department includes one fleeting reference to climate change as an issue, like armed conflict and poverty, that is best solved through multilateral channels. Thomas Frank, Scientific American, "Climate Change Once Again Left Out of Trump’s Federal Budget," 11 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And almost as old as the pants themselves are conflicting theories about how to keep the hardworking denim clean without fading it or wearing it out prematurely. Nicole Clausing, Sunset Magazine, "The 411 on Your 501s—How to Keep Your Jeans Clean," 23 Mar. 2020 The company had noted that information from different levels of government had been conflicting. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Tesla and Alameda County Reach Fremont Factory Compromise," 19 Mar. 2020 Saidman said he and co-producer Eli Holzman were approached two years ago by independent producer Sean O’Grady with the story of a Nigerian chef in Los Angeles whose rising star conflicted with his immigration status. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada resident, attorney advises Netflix series ‘Living Undocumented’," 26 Sep. 2019 And restoration can conflict with other activities, such as farming and forestry. Robin Chazdon, Quartz Africa, "Scientists are mapping out how to restore tropical rainforests around the world," 7 July 2019 But data on this is conflicting, according to 2012 research on insulin resistance and PCOS in Endocrine Reviews. Mary Claire Lagroue, SELF, "Can Diet and Exercise Actually Improve PCOS Symptoms?," 23 Apr. 2019 Lots of other potential and conflicting labels present themselves. John J. Miller, National Review, "George Orwell’s Unclassifiable Politics," 5 Mar. 2020 The law also invalidated conflicting state laws and regulations and takes precedence over federal permits and licenses. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Federal judge strikes down Toledo’s Lake Erie Bill of Rights as unconstitutional, says sweeping law is too vague," 28 Feb. 2020 Investigators found the two angle-of-attack sensors sent conflicting data to the flight computer. USA Today, "What’s next for the 737 MAX – and Boeing," 6 Feb. 2020

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 and Verb

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

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Learn More about conflict

Time Traveler for conflict

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for conflict

Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conflict.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conflict. Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for conflict

conflict

noun
How to pronounce conflict (audio)

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
How to pronounce conflict (audio)

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 How to pronounce conflict (audio) \

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 How to pronounce conflict (audio) \
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 How to pronounce conflict (audio) \

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 How to pronounce conflictful (audio) \ adjective
conflictless \ ˈkän-​ˌflik-​tləs How to pronounce conflictless (audio) \ adjective
conflictual \ kän-​ˈflik-​ch(ə-​w)əl, kən-​ How to pronounce conflictual (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on conflict

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