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

Trump will seek one anyway, hoping to solve some of the most intractable conflicts with one of America’s least trustworthy adversaries in a flashy one-day event. Nina Jankowicz, The New Republic, "Available in Helsinki: the Fate of Eastern Europe," 13 July 2018 The easiest thing in foreign policy is to magnify the conflict. Elisabeth Malkin, New York Times, "U.S. Delegation and Mexico’s Next President Aim to Reset Relations," 13 July 2018 Bob served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan during the conflicts ongoing there and was promoted a number of times ending with the rank of Staff Sergeant. OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 7/13," 13 July 2018 The debate over that conflict was the crucible in which IfNotNow was born. Abraham Riesman, Daily Intelligencer, "Can the young activists of IfNotNow change the conversation about Israel and the Palestinians, or will their contradictions hold them back?," 12 July 2018 Today, despite its subordinate position within the European Union behind such larger powers as France and Germany, Ireland has played an outsized role as a voice on matters concerning Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Sean Savage, Jewish Journal, "Ireland goes ahead with legislation to boycott products made in Israeli settlements," 12 July 2018 The spiraling conflict over Chinese technology policy threatens to chill global economic growth. Joe Macdonald, Anchorage Daily News, "China vows retaliation for latest US tariff threat," 11 July 2018 The spiraling conflict over Chinese technology policy threatens to chill global economic growth. NBC News, "China vows retaliation as U.S. ups trade war ante, threatens tariffs on $200 billion of goods," 11 July 2018 Canada then led the way in remodeling the OAS from a regional security organization and toward an organization that today is associated with democracy promotion and conflict resolution. Paul Poast, Washington Post, "These surprising countries could emerge as the heroes of NATO — and the liberal world order," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ana Garcia, who served as village manager when Atesiano was first elevated to chief in January 2013, said the federal charges of framing a teen conflicted with the chief’s reputation in the village. Charles Rabin, Jay Weaver And David Ovalle, miamiherald, "The chief wanted perfect stats, so cops were told to pin crimes on blacks, probe found," 12 July 2018 The process—the steady buildup to a prime-time show, fueled by tantalizing and sometimes conflicting leaks—spoke volumes about the Trumpian style and the voracious media appetite for every tidbit. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "The Media's Mixed Signals: How Trump got to Brett Kavanaugh," 9 July 2018 The governor’s lawyers acknowledged in an internal review that state attorneys general in Alabama had reached conflicting conclusions about the leftover funds. Alan Blinder, New York Times, "Alabama Moves to Limit Sheriffs From Pocketing Jail Food Money," 11 July 2018 In a recent interview with Axel Vervoordt, West seemed conflicted about his feelings on Abloh's appointment at Louis Vuitton. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Virgil Abloh and Kanye West Cried Together At The End of Abloh's First Louis Vuitton Men's Show," 21 June 2018 His campaign proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit public officials from engaging in businesses that might conflict with their duties. The Economist, "Will AMLO deliver?," 5 July 2018 Instead, they are conflicted, complicated, compelling people. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "A ThemToo movement for Parisian art," 14 June 2018 He's conflicted about the tech companies that now deliver 20 meals a day for his Uncle Maddio's Pizza franchise in suburban Atlanta and also take a 30-percent slice of every sale. Michael Sasso, chicagotribune.com, "There aren't enough drivers to keep up with our delivery habit: 'There's more work than you can handle'," 13 June 2018 Individual labor unions, like any organized constituency, sometimes have interests that conflict with the greater public’s. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Unions Are Not a Special Interest Group," 25 May 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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Phrases Related to conflict

come into conflict

in conflict

inner conflicts

Statistics for conflict

Last Updated

10 Oct 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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