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

Empathy is a powerful tool in conflict resolution and in life. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Quarterbacks to co-workers: The prevailing power of empathy," 8 Sep. 2019 Author Marianne Williamson was expected to attend but canceled because of a scheduling conflict, organizers said. Bradley Zint, Daily Pilot, "Three Democratic presidential hopefuls state their case at forum in Costa Mesa," 8 Sep. 2019 Christian-Muslim conflict is also sputtering across west Africa and would now make any papal visit there a logistical and security challenge. The Economist, "Why Pope Francis struggles in Africa," 7 Sep. 2019 There are personality tests, crosswords, and even games and other resources for things like conflict resolution. Erinne Magee, Good Housekeeping, "Long-Distance Relationship Tips for Couples Who Are Separated by Miles," 5 Sep. 2019 Cyberspace has been compared to the Cold War for well over a decade, especially comparisons between weapon stockpiling and information conflict. Wired, "Cold War Analogies are Warping Tech Policy," 5 Sep. 2019 Once again, a small group of far-right malcontents had succeeded, if nothing else, in fomenting conflict and enlisting state power in that effort. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "When the State Enforces “Straight Pride”," 4 Sep. 2019 What’s clear from this and other mega projects is that, for residents, there is a serious risk that their impact on local politics, livelihoods and conflicts is being overlooked. Zoe Cormack, Quartz Africa, "Kenya’s huge wind power project might be great for the environment but not for local communities," 3 Sep. 2019 The bulk of it belongs to women and children—the folks who bear the brunt of the damage in almost any conflict zone but whose fates, all too often, are tucked away in the shadows. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Haunted Street Children of “Tigers Are Not Afraid”," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

She’s been conflicted this season, trying to say goodbye to Josh (Nico Tortorella). Ruth Kinane, EW.com, "Hilary Duff talks the Younger season finale: 'That was like so f---ed up!'," 5 Sep. 2019 However, the court decided there was too much conflicting evidence to determine conclusively if the three men had used the bottle to strike the victim. Rob Picheta, CNN, "A$AP Rocky avoids threat of harsher sentence as prosecutor decides not to appeal assault ruling," 27 Aug. 2019 The game was ultimately rescheduled for Sept. 5, and reports between the two schools conflicted on how the decision was made. Dallas News, "Plano East basketball coach quit after investigation upheld claim she sexually harassed district employee," 26 Aug. 2019 Our research shows that the tendency to focus on out-groups’ perceived hatred rather than their capacity to love their own drives conflict. K.n.c., The Economist, "Societies are tearing apart, but they can be brought together," 14 Aug. 2019 They are conflicted about what’s best for their nephew’s children. Melissa Sanchez, ProPublica, "For generations, Illinois’ child welfare agency has failed to adequately serve Spanish-speaking families with children in its care.," 20 June 2019 The Beatles were reportedly invited to headline the festival, but the dates conflicted with the recording of Abbey Road. Saleah Blancaflor, PEOPLE.com, "PEOPLE Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles' Abbey Road with Special Edition Issue," 21 Aug. 2019 Some management people were kinda conflicted with that. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Colts legend Dwight Freeney in no rush to figure out life after football," 10 Aug. 2019 Woodward’s actions conflicted with what some Democratic commissioners had said last year about how to handle the succession, after Patterson went public with his illness. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Oakland Democrats stumble at appointing successor to L. Brooks Patterson's job," 7 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

12 Sep 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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