1

conflict

noun con·flict \ ˈkän-ˌflikt \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of conflict

1 : fight, battle, war
  • an armed conflict
2 a : 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.

conflictful

play \ˈkän-ˌflikt-fəl\ adjective

conflictual

play \kän-ˈflik-chə-wəl, kən-, -chəl, -shwəl, -chü-əl\ adjective

Examples of conflict in a Sentence

  1. In great wars—the American Civil War, the First and Second World Wars—the largest casualties are suffered just before the conflicts end. —Steve ForbesForbes19 Oct. 2009
  2. 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 GoreAn Inconvenient Truth2006
  3. … 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 PogrebinFamily Politics1983
  4. 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 WarrenDemocracy and Poetry(1975) 1976
  5. a conflict between two gangs

  6. recent violent conflict in the region

  7. Everyone in my family always tries to avoid conflict.

  8. There was inevitable conflict over what to name the group.

  9. They're having serious conflicts over the budget.

  10. I don't see any conflicts between the theories.

  11. You'll need to resolve the conflict between your parents' plans for you and your own ambitions.

Recent Examples of conflict from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of conflict

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

Synonym Discussion of conflict

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

2

conflict

verb con·flict \ kən-ˈflikt , ˈkän-ˌflikt \

Definition of conflict

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

confliction

play \kən-ˈflik-shən, kän-\ noun

conflictive

play \kən-ˈflik-tiv, ˈkän-ˌflik-\ adjective

Examples of conflict in a Sentence

  1. 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. HamiltonWall Street Journal8 June 1995
  2. 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 WhartonThe House of Mirth1905
  3. 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 ShreveNew York Times Magazine2l Nov. l982
  4. Reports conflicted on how many people were involved.

  5. his statement conflicts with the facts, as given in the police report

Recent Examples of conflict from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of conflict

conflict Synonyms

Synonyms
collide, clash, disaccord, discord, jar
Antonyms
accord, blend, conform (to or with), fit, harmonize, match
Related Words
battle, combat, engage, fight, war (against); chafe, gall, grate, jangle; differ, disagree, dissent
Near Antonyms
agree, assent, coincide, concur, correspond


CONFLICT Defined for English Language Learners

conflict

noun

Definition of conflict for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of conflict for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

conflict

noun con·flict \ ˈkän-ˌflikt \

Definition of conflict for Students

1 : an extended struggle : battle
2 : a clashing disagreement (as between ideas or interests)

2

conflict

verb con·flict \ kən-ˈflikt \

Definition of conflict for Students

conflicted; conflicting
: to be in opposition
  • Their goals conflict.
  • The meeting conflicts with my appointment.

Medical Dictionary

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

conflictful

play \ˈkän-ˌflikt-fəl\ adjective

conflictless

play \ˈkän-ˌflik-tləs\ adjective

conflictual

play \kän-ˈflik-ch(ə-w)əl, kən-\ adjective


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