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

Moss plays Offred, the title character, whose resistance to the new world order is the show’s central conflict. Alina Cho, Marie Claire, "Women of the Hour: Thandie Newton, Elisabeth Moss, and Sandra Oh," 5 Apr. 2019 Revolutions often follow a pattern: Noble aspirations give way to conflict. William Anthony Hay, WSJ, "‘Revolutionary’ Review: The Real Revolution," 29 Mar. 2019 Beijing has announced reforms this year including ending limits on foreign ownership in its auto industry, but none directly addresses complaints that are fueling its conflict with Washington. CBS News, "As U.S. tariffs take effect, China says it will retaliate," 6 July 2018 But even though Randall and Beth's conflict took center stage, fans online seemed pretty preoccupied with Kevin, of all people. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'This Is Us' Fans Are Furious With Kevin After the Latest Episode," 20 Mar. 2019 While our boutique family law firm services high-net-worth clients for whom money is not often an issue, our hourly rates are high, and conflict is financially costly—to say nothing of the emotional expense. Laura Wasser, Town & Country, "How Laura Wasser Handles Divorce," 8 Feb. 2019 Civil conflict was a central concern of his for that reason. Sean Illing, Vox, "Here are the 5 most interesting conversations I had in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 The increasing pace of US launch activity has put the industry increasingly in conflict with the far older (and far larger) commercial aviation industry regarding access to the national airspace system in the United States, The Space Review reports. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Russia’s nuclear rocket, airspace wars, BFR changes explained," 30 Nov. 2018 Over the summer, the school has dealt with some controversy, as the school’s founder and headmistress resigned after conflicts with the board and parents. Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sweden’s Princess Estelle Looks Adorable on Her First Day of School," 21 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That was, to me, one of the greatest romances ever in the history of film—and so conflicting between Ingrid [Bergman] and Humphrey [Bogart]. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Cole Sprouse Reveals the Most Romantic Thing He's Ever Done for Lili Reinhart," 15 Mar. 2019 And the main characters' often-conflicting views on these subjects compel much of the drama. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Hit U.K. Show Bodyguard Is Now on Netflix," 26 Oct. 2018 There are conflicting narratives over what led up to the shooting. Ryan Tarinelli, Fox News, "Lawyer: Firing of officer who killed neighbor is premature," 25 Sep. 2018 Disagreement over deal terms Comcast and Cogent gave us conflicting statements about their settlement-free peering agreement. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "When slow downloads hit an app developer, only Comcast customers suffered," 9 Mar. 2018 Among its other arguments, the city also asserted that Proposal A conflicted with the Michigan Medical Facilities Licensing Act and the City Charter. Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press, "Judge strikes down Detroit marijuana initiative," 16 Feb. 2018 The Women’s March is no stranger to conflict The idea for the Women’s March was born just hours after Trump’s victory on November 8, 2016, as Amanda Hess reports at the New York Times. Anna North, Vox, "The Women’s March changed the American left. Now anti-Semitism allegations threaten the group’s future.," 21 Dec. 2018 This means it's easy, for instance, to run a Snap app that requires a specific version of Python without worrying about that conflicting with the system-wide version of Python. Scott Gilbertson, Ars Technica, "The 2018 XPS 13 Developer’s Edition—Have it your way on a “just works” Linux laptop," 12 Dec. 2018 When to vote This year’s primary election will take place on Thursday, September 13, rather than the usual Tuesday, so as not to conflict with the end of Rosh Hashanah, or the 17th anniversary of 9/11. Vogue, "Everything You Need to Know About New York's Primary Election on Thursday," 10 Sep. 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

25 Apr 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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