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

Previously, experts had been prevented from exploring the site, near the modern city of Sulaymaniyah, by Saddam Hussein’s regime and conflicts in the region. Fox News, "Mysterious 3,400-year-old palace discovered as drought reveals ruins," 2 July 2019 Irving became the fall guy, as stories about his conflicts with teammates, coach Brad Stevens and GM Danny Ainge leaked. Troy L. Smith, cleveland.com, "How Kyrie’s drama took him from Cleveland to Boston to Brooklyn," 1 July 2019 The area was also a draw for the military, beginning in the early 1900s when a 10th U.S. Cavalry troop was stationed nearby to quell conflicts along the border. Martina Schimitschek, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Imperial Beach: Most southwesterly city in the continental United States," 30 June 2019 Hopper and Joyce’s romantic tension and conflicts rival their kids’ for melodrama and humor. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: ‘Stranger Things’ reinvents itself for a stellar Season 3," 30 June 2019 As the end of this season approaches, Stranger Things becomes one sustained action scene after another, one soaring drone shot after another and one conflict after another that forces our heroes to stare down elaborate digital creatures. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Stranger Things' Season 3: TV Review," 30 June 2019 Then, there was the return to Glendale for the playoffs, because of a scheduling conflict at Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Drew Powell, Rattlers roll to United Bowl with rout of Nebraska Danger," 30 June 2019 Michael Calvey, the American boss of Baring Vostok, a private-equity firm, was arrested in February amid a conflict with an investment partner who has connections to the security services. The Economist, "Russia is heaven for bondholders and hell for stockpickers," 29 June 2019 Raimondo wrote thousands of articles for the site, as well as for conservative publications, voicing criticism of U.S. involvement in Iraq and other conflicts. Catherine Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Justin Raimondo, longtime Bay Area antiwar activist and writer, dies," 29 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Franklin, who also ran unsuccessfully for D.C.’s district council in 2016, has looked at his own reviews, and says the sentiment in the messages periodically conflicts with the numbered scores from the survey. Joshua Brustein, latimes.com, "The downside of working for an algorithm," 26 June 2019 In the past decade, the Grammy telecast has moved to January two more times -- 2014 (Jan. 26) and 2018 (Jan. 28) -- again to avoid conflicting with the Winter Olympics. Paul Grein, Billboard, "62nd Annual Grammy Awards Dates and Deadlines Set," 24 June 2019 The one institution that stands above the process is the judiciary — neutral, independent, and free to override voters’ decisions that conflict with the state or federal constitutions. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "California’s high court walks high wire on initiatives, 2 ex-justices say," 23 June 2019 The study has just two figures—and one of them conflicts with the results. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Debunked: The absurd story about smartphones causing kids to sprout horns," 21 June 2019 In asking the Supreme Court to review the case, the county contended that the ruling conflicted with previous decisions on back pay in pension cases. Alison Knezevich, baltimoresun.com, "Supreme Court declines to hear Baltimore County pension case," 18 June 2019 Sullivan withdrew from Weinstein's defense team in May, saying that the new trial date would conflict with his teaching responsibilities. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "The Harvard law professor who represented Harvey Weinstein is speaking out against the university," 14 June 2019 Sullivan withdrew from representing Weinstein shortly after, citing the upcoming trial, set to begin Sept. 9, as conflicting with teaching commitments. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "Former Harvard dean, removed after defending Weinstein, speaks out for first time since ouster, condemns school," 14 June 2019 It was held in September and early October instead of June’s relatively barren sports calendar, conflicting with high school, college and pro football, in the midst of baseball pennant races. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Women’s soccer’s journey from promise of 1999 to reality of 2019," 11 June 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

4 Jul 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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