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 conflict (audio) \ adjective
conflictual \ kän-​ˈflik-​chə-​wəl How to pronounce conflict (audio) , kən-​ , -​chəl , -​shwəl , -​chü-​əl \ adjective

Verb

confliction \ kən-​ˈflik-​shən How to pronounce conflict (audio) , kän-​ \ noun
conflictive \ kən-​ˈflik-​tiv How to pronounce conflict (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 This conflict only underscores the artificial nature of book publishing’s marketplace of ideas. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "What Does Book Publishing Stand For?," 30 Apr. 2021 Prosecutors charge that bin Laden threw himself into the midst of this conflict, sending some of his followers to Somalia to train the warlords to fight the US troops. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, "Osama bin Laden Fast Facts," 27 Apr. 2021 People generally don’t know that there has always been this conflict in terms of the use of it. Time, "The 'America First Caucus' Is Backtracking, But Its Mistaken Ideas About 'Anglo-Saxon' History Still Have Scholars Concerned," 21 Apr. 2021 But in his initial messages to me, O’Sullivan mentioned none of the details of this escalating conflict. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "They Hacked McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines—and Started a Cold War," 20 Apr. 2021 And our goal ultimately is an Afghanistan that finds a just and durable settlement to this conflict that has been going on for four decades. ABC News, "'This Week' Transcript 4-18-21: Sec. Antony Blinken, Dr. Anthony Fauci & Benjamin Crump," 18 Apr. 2021 This conflict is televised and decentralized, the battlefront shifting every day. BostonGlobe.com, "For too many of us, living in this country is like living in a state of war," 17 Apr. 2021 The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finale airs next Friday, bringing a resolution to this conflict, as well as more answers. Chris Smith, BGR, "Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s shocking cameo will also appear in this new Marvel movie," 17 Apr. 2021 Groups such as Badr, founded in 1982 from exile in Iran, were a factor in Iraqi politics long before this latest conflict. Washington Post, "Iraq’s anti-American militias aren’t just Iranian proxies. That helps explain their troubles.," 9 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Yet, a former official who worked on Iran issues suggested that even a statement subsequent to Israeli revelations could conflict with the rules governing the handling of classified information. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "‘Utter nonsense’: Blinken defends Kerry from GOP attacks following Iran leak claim," 27 Apr. 2021 Should an executive’s duties conflict with his or her personal values, that executive may recuse him/herself from decision making, or resign from the company. Robert Zafft, Forbes, "Voting Laws: When Should CEOs Lead Their Companies Into Crossfires?," 12 Apr. 2021 Nygaard is taking a leave because the girls’ basketball season will conflict with the WNBA season this year. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Vanessa Nygaard to become WNBA assistant coach," 10 Apr. 2021 The patchwork approach to the vaccine rollout, and the pandemic as a whole, also means federal law can conflict with state and local law. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Can your employer require a vaccine? Probably. So can a restaurant or hotel.," 8 Apr. 2021 Memphis Light offered him a position as a service dispatcher, but Small, a Jehovah’s Witness, worried the job would conflict with his desire to attend services on Wednesday evenings and Sundays and take part in community work on Saturdays. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Gorsuch, Alito balk as Supreme Court declines to hear case about workplace religious accommodations," 5 Apr. 2021 As Trump alluded to, the U.S. has maintained close ties to numerous regimes, and still does, whose values and policies conflict with America’s constitutional guarantees of democracy, freedom of speech, the right to due process and many others. Jeffrey Fields, The Conversation, "Why repressive Saudi Arabia remains a US ally," 3 Mar. 2021 The comfort women were not specifically mentioned, which led to later conflict about whether their claims had indeed been settled. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, "Seeking the True Story of the Comfort Women," 26 Feb. 2021 Indigenous activists over the weekend continued to criticize the rescheduled Boston Marathon date, saying their community was not consulted in planning an event that may conflict with Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations. BostonGlobe.com, "Indigenous activists call on Marathon organizers to change date," 11 Apr. 2021

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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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

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conflict.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conflict. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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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 conflict (audio) \ adjective
conflictless \ ˈkän-​ˌflik-​tləs How to pronounce conflict (audio) \ adjective
conflictual \ kän-​ˈflik-​ch(ə-​w)əl, kən-​ How to pronounce conflict (audio) \ adjective

Comments on conflict

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