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

The gems are conflict-free — just like your relationship. Nia Martin, The Seattle Times, "Valentine’s Day gifts that celebrate your Seattle love," 4 Feb. 2019 Heughan sat down with BAZAAR.com for a quick recap of Season 4's conflicts and resolutions, and what to expect as the specter of the American Revolution draws closer. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sam Heughan on What the Outlander Finale Means for Season 5: "It's Going to Be Tough"," 28 Jan. 2019 President Barack Obama also issued national emergencies in response to African conflicts like Somali piracy, as well as taking on Chinese cybersecurity threats and Russia after the invasion of Crimea in Ukraine. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Is Threatening to Declare a National Emergency to Get Border Wall Funding. Here's Why He Shouldn’t.," 11 Jan. 2019 Now Jamie’s godfather is poised to be a potential source of conflict in his new role as a Regulator. Sarene Leeds, Glamour, "7 Times Outlander Didn't Follow What Happened in the Book," 3 Dec. 2018 The idea for Craft Weed began when Stoa started hearing about water conflict in Northern California, specifically around marijuana agriculture. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Why the future of marijuana farming could be craft weed," 21 Nov. 2018 Recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria have been fought in far more temperate regions. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Carriers Are Operating in the Arctic Circle for the First Time in Decades," 22 Oct. 2018 And Berlin considers Turkey an important partner in trying to end the conflict in neighboring Syria. Geir Moulson, Fox News, "Turkey's Erdogan heads to Germany on bridge-building visit," 27 Sep. 2018 Three of their best players were exiles during the conflicts of the 1990s. The Christian Science Monitor, "Why this World Cup final is like no other," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Government officials gave conflicting guidance about the danger and the safety of routine actions (like keeping schools opened or air travel with infected people). Ron Klain, Vox, "A pandemic killing tens of millions of people is a real possibility — and we are not prepared for it," 15 Oct. 2018 The new details from the internal FBI report on McCabe, which has not been released publicly and CNN has not reviewed, add to the complicated picture that's emerging amid conflicting testimony related to McCabe's firing. Pamela Brown, CNN, "Internal FBI report shows discrepancy between McCabe and Comey accounts," 30 Mar. 2018 Miller and Wheeler gave conflicting testimony about who threw the first punch — either Wheeler or McMillon. Joe Robertson, kansascity, "‘Mayhem’ on Mass St. in Lawrence over bad blood between rivals, witnesses testify," 11 Jan. 2018 There are conflicting reports that the company mentioned (the Monarch Publishing Company out of New York) and its game ever even existed. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Pearl Harbor Still Holds a Few Mysteries," 7 Dec. 2018 There are conflicting accounts of what happened next. Taimoor Shah, The Seattle Times, "Trump to ‘review’ case of Green Beret accused of murdering Afghan," 16 Dec. 2018 Some care plans and medical records were insufficient, including gaps and conflicting information. Rory Linnane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Death of psychiatric patient on state's watch under review by district attorney," 15 May 2018 Yet any story involving accusation and denial necessarily contains Rashomon-like perspectives — or, to put it less cinematically, conflicting accounts. Anna Silman, The Cut, "What Can We Learn From Transparent’s #MeToo Mess?," 8 May 2018 An independent review, chaired by former Head of the Civil Service Lord Kerslake, illustrated how poor communications between the emergency agencies gave the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) conflicting information. Angela Dewan, CNN, "Fire service 2 hours late to Manchester bombing scene, report finds," 27 Mar. 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 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

14 Feb 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 \

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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