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 In addition, the promise of the trade deal between the U.S. and China has helped lift markets in recent weeks, easing investors’ concerns of further escalation in the costly conflict. Washington Post, "Asian shares rise on optimism about US-China trade deal," 14 Jan. 2020 Sunday's truce follows calls last week from Russia and Turkey -- which back rival sides in Libya's civil war -- for a ceasefire in the conflict. Sharif Paget, CNN, "Libya's renegade general declares ceasefire, ending nine-month attack on capital," 12 Jan. 2020 No, elemental forces were at play — and sometimes in tectonic conflict. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Miguel Harth-Bedoya leads the Fort Worth Symphony in a powerful Sibelius Second Symphony," 11 Jan. 2020 The opposite is also true: greater conflict, especially all-out war with the United States, will only strengthen the regime. Abbas Milani, The New York Review of Books, "The Minimal Value of Trump’s ‘Maximum Pressure’ on Iran," 8 Jan. 2020 Okay, so a new, dangerous conflict in the Middle East, launched by the U.S. government on a murky premise, with 'razor thin' evidence. TheWeek, "Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah are pretty sure Trump doesn't know what he's doing in Iran, the Middle East," 7 Jan. 2020 Both are locked in an eternal, rapid-fire evolutionary conflict that can be controlled and measured in the laboratory. Quanta Magazine, "Biodiversity Alters Strategies of Bacterial Evolution," 6 Jan. 2020 But Thursday's strike risks embroiling the U.S. in yet another conflict. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "U.S. strike ordered by Trump kills top Iranian military leader, Tehran vows revenge: The Morning Rundown," 3 Jan. 2020 The conflict with staff, including the union, has cost G/O revenue in direct ways. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "This time, for sure! Ars Technica’s 2020 Deathwatch," 2 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But that inherently partisan role, Fischer said, won't conflict with his nonpartisan presidential position with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Greg Fischer becomes 'America's mayor' in 2020. Here's what that means for Louisville," 30 Dec. 2019 The notion that the system is intentionally designed to oppress minorities, however, deeply conflicts with believing that any good can come out of it. William Z. Nardi, National Review, "Don’t Shut Jails; They Exist for a Reason," 11 Dec. 2019 As depicted in The Crown, the queen was conflicted over how to respond to the disaster. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Crown Season 3: The Devastating True Story of the Aberfan Mining Disaster," 21 Nov. 2019 The zoning plan for The Banks also conflicted with the county leader's plans for other lots, particularly Lot 24 where the county has proposed a development with residential, retail and office. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "The Banks music venue in jeopardy? City makes more demands as Portune pleads with Cranley to stop 'this declaration of war.'," 31 Oct. 2019 In many ways, the more interesting question is not why biblical narratives sometimes conflict with one another or with Jewish and Christian belief, but why so much of the Bible is narrative in the first place. Christopher Beha, Harper's magazine, "How to Read the Bible," 28 Oct. 2019 The announcement follows some confusing (and admittedly, conflicting) concerns from the Indonesian government that rising visitor numbers have been putting the rare lizards at risk. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "What Komodo Island’s New $1,000 Visitor Fee Means for Travelers," 16 Oct. 2019 There's conflicting research on whether banning drive-thru windows improves health, however. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Cities ban new drive-thrus to fight climate change," 14 Oct. 2019 Yet the movie, which contains as many nail-biting moments as the show used to spread over a full season, gives him something new to be: an action hero—albeit a uniquely conflicted, exhausted and in many ways broken one. Judy Berman, Time, "Review: El Camino Transforms Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman Into an Action Hero for the Ages," 11 Oct. 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

Time Traveler for conflict

Time Traveler

The first known use of conflict was in the 15th century

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Statistics for conflict

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conflict.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conflict?show=0&t=1321062702. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for conflict

conflict

noun
How to pronounce conflict (audio)

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
How to pronounce conflict (audio)

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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