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 conflict of emotions from what was pure joy turned to guilt and terror overnight. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Bode Miller and wife Morgan are expecting twins a year after their daughter's tragic death," 12 Aug. 2019 The White House is concerned that a ceasefire in Idlib could fall apart in coming days and is closely watching the conflict, the official said. NBC News, "John Bolton looks to freshen up U.S.-U.K. relationship with London trip," 11 Aug. 2019 Sources familiar with the matter said the possible conflict involved a potential commission for negotiating the RingCentral deal, which was announced in June. Phil Matier, SFChronicle.com, "Oakland Coliseum chief resigns over role in RingCentral naming rights deal," 9 Aug. 2019 How to manage the conflicts between the tule elk and historic ranches has already been hotly debated in Congress, courtrooms, the media and in the public over the years. Will Houston, The Mercury News, "U.S. releases controversial plan for Point Reyes elk, ranches," 9 Aug. 2019 The conflict has been playing out in the ongoing Hudson Yards project, often described as the biggest private development in the city since Rockefeller Center. Alex Traub, New York Times, "An Ex-Convict Got a Construction Job, but Not Everyone Was Happy," 9 Aug. 2019 What could change the outlook is the impact of the U.S.-China conflict on consumer and business confidence. Robert Samuelson, Twin Cities, "Robert Samuelson: The China-America trade crackup," 9 Aug. 2019 In the first scenario, Tony Stark dies before the conflict begins and Captain America leads all of the heroes against the Registration Act. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'What If?' Could Become Marvel's 'Twilight Zone'," 8 Aug. 2019 By the time Mr Modi became India’s prime minister in 2014, the conflict had become less intense. The Economist, "India abruptly ends the last special protection enjoyed by Kashmir," 8 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Even saying that doesn’t do justice to the number of stakeholders and the complexities of the situation’s conflicting demands. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Eco-crisis documentary ‘Sea of Shadows’ lives up to its sinister title," 25 July 2019 Appeal Showdown Wednesday’s conflicting rulings by judges on opposite coasts potentially sets the stage for a showdown in the appeals courts. Fortune, "Trump’s Asylum Seeker Restriction Blocked by Federal Judge," 24 July 2019 These pages are a sprawling boneyard of restless spirits, and Nora is a woman conflicted in so many ways, seared by unrelenting drought, crooked politics and tragic family circumstances. Ron Charles, Washington Post, "Téa Obreht’s ‘Inland’ is a magical Western you’ll want to savor with a tall glass of water," 12 Aug. 2019 The suit, filed Monday in Alameda County Superior Court, is the latest chapter in what has been a contentious year of investigations and conflicting findings based on the March 11, 2018, death of Joshua Pawlik. Megan Cassidy, SFChronicle.com, "Oakland police officers who face termination over fatal 2018 shooting file suit against city," 12 Aug. 2019 Almost 18 years later and there is still conflicting intelligence on the Taliban’s inner workings. Fox News, "How the Taliban remained dominant in Afghanistan: Terrifying tactics and an advancing weapons arsenal," 7 Aug. 2019 Legan appeared to be interested in conflicting ideologies, but authorities still have not determined a motive for the attack, John Bennett, the FBI's agent in charge in San Francisco, said Tuesday. Stefanie Dazio, chicagotribune.com, "FBI opens domestic terrorism investigation of Gilroy Garlic Festival massacre," 6 Aug. 2019 Biehl said there was conflicting information about the number of people injured -- either 27 or 32. CBS News, "Dayton officials hold press conference in wake of deadly shooting," 5 Aug. 2019 But conflicting stories about Wyatt's previous relationship history caused Brown to pull the plug on their engagement. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "It Sure Looks Like Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron Went on a Date Last Night," 2 Aug. 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

15 Aug 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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