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

Later Morton opened up on social media about receiving racist comments from viewers in response to her conflict with Miller-Keyes. De Elizabeth, Glamour, "For The Bachelor Contestants, Is Finding Love and Spon-Con Deals Worth the Trolls?," 9 May 2019 In the armed conflict, the mines were the most effective mechanism to do damage. Megan Janetsky, Teen Vogue, "Meet the Women Who Detonate Land Mines in Colombia’s Former War Zones," 24 Apr. 2019 But in Season 2, Serena began trying to reform the system from within, her internal conflict growing with each new indignity suffered. Jennifer Vineyard, New York Times, "‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Yvonne Strahovski on the Harrowing Finale and Serena’s Murky Future," 11 July 2018 For much of the past 20 years, Eritrea has been focused on its conflict with Ethiopia, with substantial spending on its military and indefinite mandatory military service that has led hundreds of thousands of Eritreans to try to immigrate to Europe. Paul Schemm, Washington Post, "Thousands cheer Ethiopian leader’s visit to former enemy Eritrea for unprecedented summit," 8 July 2018 Many featured the desert-beige fabric and pattern that the Army had used for its most recent conflicts. Claire Gibson, Marie Claire, "Why My Relationship With Camo Print Is Messy," 29 Apr. 2019 Moss plays Offred, the title character, whose resistance to the new world order is the show’s central conflict. Alina Cho, Marie Claire, "Women of the Hour: Thandie Newton, Elisabeth Moss, and Sandra Oh," 5 Apr. 2019 Revolutions often follow a pattern: Noble aspirations give way to conflict. William Anthony Hay, WSJ, "‘Revolutionary’ Review: The Real Revolution," 29 Mar. 2019 Beijing has announced reforms this year including ending limits on foreign ownership in its auto industry, but none directly addresses complaints that are fueling its conflict with Washington. CBS News, "As U.S. tariffs take effect, China says it will retaliate," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The almost two decades-long case is extraordinarily complex, featuring numerous timelines, theories and conflicting testimony, and the nuances are explored extensively in Serial, the Undisclosed podcast, and the HBO series. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Complete Timeline of The Case Against Adnan Syed," 31 Mar. 2019 Adding to the drama were conflicting reports about whether Mr. Trump would have an informal meeting with Mr. Putin. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Saudi Prince Gets High-Five From Putin at G-20 Summit," 30 Nov. 2018 There were conflicting reports in the hours after the rescue about the extent to which the boys had been medicated before they were brought out... Radhika Viswanathan, Vox, "New information suggests the 12 Thai boys trapped in a cave were medicated and carried out on stretchers during the rescue operation.," 11 July 2018 The trial over LeGrier’s death focused on conflicting accounts of whether the teen presented an immediate threat to the officers. Dan Hinkel, chicagotribune.com, "Conflicting answer in special interrogatory upends verdict to displeasure of jury foreman," 29 June 2018 Kim says that there were conflicting assessments from doctors and that Kanye has once again accepted the bipolar diagnosis. Jonathan Van Meter, Vogue, "The Awakening of Kim Kardashian West," 10 Apr. 2019 Cass County prosecutor Leah Viste pointed out conflicting stories that Hoehn told police after he and Crews were arrested. Fox News, "The Latest: Trial in pregnant woman's slaying goes to jury," 27 Sep. 2018 AppleInsider and some others chimed in to agree, while other publications and YouTube personalities shared conflicting benchmarks suggesting the problem was not as severe as initially claimed. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "We tested throttling on the MacBook Pro—now Apple says it has a firmware fix," 24 July 2018 That was, to me, one of the greatest romances ever in the history of film—and so conflicting between Ingrid [Bergman] and Humphrey [Bogart]. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Cole Sprouse Reveals the Most Romantic Thing He's Ever Done for Lili Reinhart," 15 Mar. 2019

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

Statistics for conflict

Last Updated

23 May 2019

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 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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