\ ˈstrīf How to pronounce strife (audio) \

Definition of strife

1a : bitter sometimes violent conflict or dissension political strife
b : an act of contention : fight, struggle
2 : exertion or contention for superiority
3 archaic : earnest endeavor

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Other Words from strife

strifeless \ ˈstrī-​fləs How to pronounce strife (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for strife

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 strife in a Sentence

in order to avoid family strife, the children spend equal time during the holidays with both of their grandmothers bitter strife between the two political factions
Recent Examples on the Web His allies also vowed to work with the U.S.-backed opposition to vaccinate Venezuelans against the coronavirus and have met with diplomats from Norway trying to revive negotiations to end the country’s never-ceasing political strife. Joshua Goodman, The Christian Science Monitor, "How relations with Venezuela may look under President Biden," 27 Apr. 2021 Internal strife, hooking up, female friendship and many, many joints ensue. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "What to stream this Oscars weekend: HBO Max's 'Mortal Kombat,' Netflix's 'Stowaway'," 23 Apr. 2021 Science is a human activity, beset like all other human activities by emotion, money, politics, strife—and, sometimes, devastating disease. Samanth Subramanian, The New Republic, "The Mysteries of Stephen Hawking’s Universe," 6 Apr. 2021 The strife and self-doubt of middle age — that went into the book. Bethanne Patrick, Los Angeles Times, "In life and fiction, a late-blooming novelist makes peace, happily, with L.A.," 1 Apr. 2021 What is a mythical princess but an extraordinary young woman who extracts a happy ending from a story steeped in adversity, family strife, abuse and other psychosexual horrors? Judy Berman, Time, "Genius: Aretha Is a Lavish, Lively Showstopper That Hits a Few False Notes," 19 Mar. 2021 Retrieving his work from obscurity and recovering his perspective would lead us toward a culture defined by duty and charity rather than strife. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "England’s Most Underrated Political Philosopher," 23 Apr. 2021 How that plan came together and then spectacularly collapsed is a story of egos and intrigue, avarice and ambition, secret meetings and private lunches, international finance and internecine strife. New York Times, "How the Super League Fell Apart," 22 Apr. 2021 Racial strife existed in the city long before the murder of George Floyd -- a fellow Black man who also adored Minneapolis. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Prince: Five years after his death, his beloved Minneapolis has been in turmoil," 21 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'strife.' 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 strife

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for strife

Middle English strif, from Anglo-French estrif, estri, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch striden to fight, Old High German strītan to quarrel — more at stride

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Time Traveler for strife

Time Traveler

The first known use of strife was in the 13th century

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Statistics for strife

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Strife.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for strife



English Language Learners Definition of strife

formal : very angry or violent disagreement between two or more people or groups


\ ˈstrīf How to pronounce strife (audio) \

Kids Definition of strife

: bitter and sometimes violent disagreement political strife

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