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

More than 300 people have been killed since the conflict began in April, the vast majority civilians. Joshua Partlow, chicagotribune.com, "Inside the church where Nicaraguan paramilitaries laid siege on university students," 14 July 2018 The conflict began in late 2013, just two years after the country won independence from Sudan. Cara Anna, The Seattle Times, "Gang-rapes, lynchings: UN tallies latest South Sudan abuses," 10 July 2018 Sonically, the songs thrived on dichotomies of loud/soft and pretty/grating; the effect was less to gild aggression with sweetness than to wring drama and verisimilitude from the feeling of internal conflict. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Linkin Park Gave to Pop Music," 25 June 2018 Similarly, in case of a conflict between these Terms and our Privacy Policy, these Terms control. sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego Union-Tribune Terms of Service," 25 June 2018 Of course, with its new date, the Brickyard will go head-to-head with the Colts' home opener, but Boles believes the benefits of moving the race to September outweigh the downsides of the scheduling conflict. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IMS to host dirt track race ahead of Brickyard weekend," 19 June 2018 Referring to the Bible, Grasas points out that conflict is nothing new in the Middle East. Michael Hardy, WIRED, "Where the Holy Land Meets the Modern World," 12 July 2018 Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that the armed conflict and extraordinary conditions support the need for continuing the designation. NBC News, "Homeland Security extends special immigration status for some Yemenis," 6 July 2018 This year, my conflict is about what’s happening right now. Solomon Jones, Philly.com, "Not everyone in America is free this Fourth of July | Solomon Jones," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The bottom line to remember while all of these conflicting messages swirl around the internet? refinery29.com, "FYI, Body Positivity Is Not "Dangerous" Or Bad For Your Health," 27 June 2018 In Masterpiece Cake, the Court ruled that states must show respect for religious beliefs that conflict with their laws. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Supreme Court’s Banner Year," 27 June 2018 In flight, the swirling tail sends out sound waves that conflict with those of the flapping wings. Amy Raudenbush, Philly.com, "Hey, kids: Draw this fancy moth for a chance to have your artwork published!," 15 June 2018 Dyer said the time is right to make a stand before legislators opt to impose penalties for local officials who propose other laws that conflict with state rules. Ryan Gillespie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando votes to join gun lawsuit as Orange County still considers," 16 Apr. 2018 Katherine Pitts, a senior at the school, also stood by the superintendent and his comments, saying that students could find another way to honor the victims that doesn't conflict with classes. Brooke A. Lewis, Houston Chronicle, "Students, civil rights groups react after superintendent’s comments to walkouts," 12 Mar. 2018 Ana Garcia, who served as village manager when Atesiano was first elevated to chief in January 2013, said the federal charges of framing a teen conflicted with the chief’s reputation in the village. Charles Rabin, Jay Weaver And David Ovalle, miamiherald, "The chief wanted perfect stats, so cops were told to pin crimes on blacks, probe found," 12 July 2018 The process—the steady buildup to a prime-time show, fueled by tantalizing and sometimes conflicting leaks—spoke volumes about the Trumpian style and the voracious media appetite for every tidbit. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "The Media's Mixed Signals: How Trump got to Brett Kavanaugh," 9 July 2018 The governor’s lawyers acknowledged in an internal review that state attorneys general in Alabama had reached conflicting conclusions about the leftover funds. Alan Blinder, New York Times, "Alabama Moves to Limit Sheriffs From Pocketing Jail Food Money," 11 July 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

Middle English, from Latin conflictus act of striking together, from confligere to strike together, from com- + fligere to strike — more at profligate

Verb

see conflict entry 1

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Statistics for conflict

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

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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