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

An additional 6,000 have fled to the Sudan or relocated to other conflict zones. Bruce Hoffman And Seth G. Jones, WSJ, "Early Withdrawal Will Lead to More Terrorism," 10 Jan. 2019 In his first visit as president to a conflict zone, Trump stopped off in the country for three hours on Wednesday in order to meet some of the roughly 5,000 US troops stationed there, before continuing on to Germany. Alexia Underwood, Vox, "Trump’s secret trip to Iraq didn’t quite go as planned," 27 Dec. 2018 What happens if the U.S. introduces a life form into a local ecosystem designed to eat tank armor that later spreads beyond the conflict zone and starts eating steel? Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Military Wants to Create Synthetic Life Forms to Track Enemies," 4 Dec. 2018 This story — which has equal parts conflict and heart — is set during the holy season of Ramadan, when Lulu is faced with choices between traditional custom and the trials and tribulations of teenage life. Erin Nicole Celletti, Teen Vogue, "11 YA Books to Read Before Summer Ends," 7 Aug. 2018 And there are also fewer conflicts in the world and less sort of external violence and need for defense: Ever since the end of the Cold War there’s been less need of unified-alliance defensive efforts. Heather Souvaine Horn, The New Republic, "Is It Fair for Trump to Bash NATO Over Military Spending?," 12 July 2018 Many of the Sudanese fighters come from the region of Darfur, where violent conflict consumed the countryside for more than a decade. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "Saudi Arabia is reportedly outsourcing its war in Yemen to child soldiers," 30 Dec. 2018 Schwartz and Savage are using a twist on the Monster of the Week structure by regularly introducing characters and conflicts that only stick around for about three episodes before being resolved, typically in a lethal fashion. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Season 2 of Runaways forges a bold new path — eventually," 21 Dec. 2018 The discussion doesn’t indicate precisely how the conflict was resolved. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "How 3ve’s BGP hijackers eluded the Internet—and made $29M," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There are conflicting reports that the company mentioned (the Monarch Publishing Company out of New York) and its game ever even existed. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Pearl Harbor Still Holds a Few Mysteries," 7 Dec. 2018 There are conflicting accounts of what happened next. Taimoor Shah, The Seattle Times, "Trump to ‘review’ case of Green Beret accused of murdering Afghan," 16 Dec. 2018 Some care plans and medical records were insufficient, including gaps and conflicting information. Rory Linnane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Death of psychiatric patient on state's watch under review by district attorney," 15 May 2018 Yet any story involving accusation and denial necessarily contains Rashomon-like perspectives — or, to put it less cinematically, conflicting accounts. Anna Silman, The Cut, "What Can We Learn From Transparent’s #MeToo Mess?," 8 May 2018 An independent review, chaired by former Head of the Civil Service Lord Kerslake, illustrated how poor communications between the emergency agencies gave the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) conflicting information. Angela Dewan, CNN, "Fire service 2 hours late to Manchester bombing scene, report finds," 27 Mar. 2018 Many of those governments were also conflicted as hundreds of thousands of their most enterprising young citizens had left home to flock to opportunities in Britain. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "Behind the Brexit Chaos, a Faulty U.K. Negotiating Strategy," 14 Dec. 2018 The research that does exist on this is conflicting, although largely in favor of helmet use. Korin Miller, SELF, "My Son, Like Chrissy Teigen’s, Wore a Corrective Helmet as a Baby for a Flat Spot," 4 Dec. 2018 There is conflicted evidence linking glyphosate and cancer. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Lawsuits alleging weed killer Roundup caused cancer given green light by San Francisco judge," 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 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

17 Jan 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 \

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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