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

The county spent much of last year in conflict with Mitchell. oregonlive.com, "The trouble with tigers in America," 13 July 2019 Moscow’s decisive intervention in the conflict in Syria has cemented Russia’s dominance there, and the Libyan strongman Khalifa Hifter is another beneficiary of its support. New York Times, "Turkey Gets Shipment of Russian Missile System, Defying U.S.," 12 July 2019 Then-President Ronald Reagan proceeded with the operation, known as Operation Earnest Will, despite congressional concern that doing so might get the US involved in conflict. Alex Ward, Vox, "The US has a risky new plan to protect oil tankers from Iranian attacks," 12 July 2019 In fact, the two liberalisms — one offering genuine human freedom, the other entrapping humans in impersonal and often ruthless market mechanisms — were always fundamentally in conflict. Pankaj Mishra, Twin Cities, "Pankaj Mishra: Putin’s wrong, but so are liberals," 11 July 2019 The United States were in conflict with Britain over her retention of military forts on American soil along the Great Lakes, and over compensation to loyalists, pre-war debts, the West Indian trade, and commercial relations in general. Thomas Wendel, National Review, "The Beginning of a Nation," 4 July 2019 Libya has been mired in conflict ever since, creating a jihadist playground and a jumping-off point for migrants desperate to reach Europe. The Economist, "How to put Libya back together," 4 July 2019 However, a ban would be in conflict with EU law because glyphosate is cleared for use in the bloc until December 2022. Nina Avramova, CNN, "Austrian lawmakers vote to ban weed killer glyphosate," 3 July 2019 Set in the land of Eorzea, the show will explore the struggle between magic and technology to bring peace to a land in conflict. Christian Holub, EW.com, "Final Fantasy is being developed as a live-action TV series," 27 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While a wide spectrum of people oppose or feel conflicted about the bill, and support the broader pro-democracy demands of the July 1 protesters, broad generational lines have emerged. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Family feuds and social media spats: The generational divide that's splitting apart Hong Kong," 9 July 2019 The jury heard conflicting expert testimony on that issue. Janet Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Language edges custom in drilling contracts, Texas Supreme Court rules," 5 July 2019 Building a long-term story arc is critical to the success of this project, which cannot be accomplished with conflicting storylines on Mondays and Tuesdays. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "The Week in Wrestling: How Roman Reigns Sees His Relationship With Jon Moxley Now," 2 July 2019 Experts on wildlife, ecology and rangeland for both sides gave conflicting testimony about whether the grazing would harm sage grouse and redband trout in the Steens Mountain area. Maxine Bernstein, oregonlive.com, "Judge won’t rule until July 17 on request to bar further grazing by Hammond Ranches Inc.," 28 June 2019 Couples with a big age difference need to think things through or risk finding themselves at conflicting stages in their relationship. Ashley Ross, Glamour, "How Big of an Age Gap Is Too Big in Relationships?," 27 June 2019 The victim and suspect gave conflicting statements about whether or not the suspect was blocking the door. Rachel Spacek, The Mercury News, "Campbell crime report for the week of July 5," 27 June 2019 There was a conflicting event taking place at Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix that prevents the Rattlers from playing in the familiar home digs that has been known as the Snake Pit since 1992. Richard Obert, azcentral, "How will the West Valley embrace the Rattlers during IFL playoffs?," 26 June 2019 Patel said the district needs to do better and with so many conflicting budget bills at the state level, the district shouldn’t rely on state funding. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "PUSD 2019-20 budget requires additional $7 million in cuts," 12 June 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

18 Jul 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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