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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Thomas Colosi, 85, a specialist in conflict resolution and mediation who served 28 years as a top executive at the American Arbitration Association before retiring in 1999, died Jan. 5 at his home in Glen Allen, Va. Washington Post, "Community deaths," 10 Feb. 2020 But the agreement is a step toward resolving the conflicts over logging rules that have played out at the Board of Forestry, the Legislature and in courts for decades and soon on the November ballot. oregonlive, "Oregon environmental groups, timber companies strike landmark compromise, signaling end to November ballot fight," 10 Feb. 2020 Meanwhile, rights organizations have accused Turkey of deporting Syrians back to the conflict zone — a charge that Ankara denies. NBC News, "Turkey accused of sending Syrians back to 'war zone' as conflict escalates," 8 Feb. 2020 Civil War sites and artifacts from the era regularly offer fresh glimpses into the bloody conflict. Fox News, "Civil War artillery shell discovered in downtown Charleston," 7 Feb. 2020 The Texas Education Agency declined to investigate the matter, saying instead that the board should attend training on conflict resolution and trust building. Dallas News, "Lancaster ISD trustee can no longer be an advocate for kids with special needs in the district, judge rules," 5 Feb. 2020 The Israeli-Palestinian conflict often has played out within this circumference. Jo-ann Mort, The New York Review of Books, "The Trump–Netanyahu Plan to Force Arab Population Transfer," 3 Feb. 2020 President Iván Duque’s appointee — history professor Darío Acevedo — is a conservative who has expressed a view of the conflict that critics say could excuse the state of much of its responsibility for the violence. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "‘John R. Bolton, Truest Reaganaut,’ &c.," 28 Jan. 2020 Both those locations are relatively close to geopolitical conflict zones where other interruptions of GPS have been documented. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "The long ocean voyage that helped find the flaws in GPS," 24 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Many Democrats have doubted the administration because the evidence of the pending attack has been conflicted by reports that Trump had cleared killing Soleimani several months before the general died. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Democratic senator says intelligence community may have ‘corrupted’ information about Soleimani strike," 14 Jan. 2020 Officials in Iraq often provide conflicting accounts of the same incident, particularly in the context of Iraq's chaotic anti-government protests. Arkansas Online, "Iraqi cleric decries killing of teen," 14 Dec. 2019 The Giants are asking fans to arrive early for games that conflict with concerts and if possible, to park north of Oracle Park. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Traffic jam: Giants games, Chase Center concerts put Mission Bay to the test," 10 Sep. 2019 Investigators are probably looking for more internal communications that might conflict with the company's public statements, said Henry Klingeman, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice in New Jersey. Jef Feeley, latimes.com, "J&J faces criminal investigation over baby powder’s potential cancer risks," 12 July 2019 An extended presentation of authoritative voices offering conflicting viewpoints left some viewers dissatisfied, if not confused. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "Jim Lehrer, Longtime PBS News Anchor, Is Dead at 85," 23 Jan. 2020 There were a couple of court cases in the 1990s that were giving conflicting guidance to these websites. Claude Thompson, Washington Examiner, "Joe Biden's internet-breaking idea," 23 Jan. 2020 Gas ban advocates and opponents cite conflicting studies amid ongoing debates about whether going electric costs more. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "California begins planning for transition away from natural gas," 22 Jan. 2020 Capitol Police are giving members of the press conflicting instructions on where reporters can be in the Capitol as senators leave the floor. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "Security crackdown on Capitol Hill hinders reporters from asking senators questions during impeachment trial," 16 Jan. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conflict

Time Traveler for conflict

Time Traveler

The first known use of conflict was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for conflict

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conflict.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conflict. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for conflict

conflict

noun
How to pronounce conflict (audio)

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
How to pronounce conflict (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on conflict

What made you want to look up conflict? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!