\ˈstrīf \

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 \ 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

The funding quickly stopped when the abuse allegations came to light, but internal strife erupted among jury members over whether Ms. Frostenson, a co-owner of the club, should be ousted. Dominic Chopping, WSJ, "Frenchman at Heart of Nobel Scandal Convicted of Second Rape," 3 Dec. 2018 Another calamity was about to overtake Meyer, however, as China had become gripped by spreading internal strife. Adrian Higgins, The Seattle Times, "Scientists thought they had created the perfect tree. But it became a nightmare.," 17 Sep. 2018 Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others have officially opposed Trump’s immigration policies, and several companies have faced internal strife as employees protest contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Trump keeps threatening tech companies, but he’s terrible at following through," 29 Aug. 2018 Investors were watching for any further signs of political strife after Italian bonds sold off amid the country’s budget standoff with European lawmakers. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Dow Falls More Than 300 Points Amid Concerns Over Global Growth," 18 Oct. 2018 This week has been all over the place for the beleaguered company and its customers, with literally every day bringing a new source of strife. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "MoviePass has not had a good week. Neither have MoviePass subscribers.," 17 Aug. 2018 Dunn’s exit was the culmination of growing strife within the board of trustees. Dawn Rhodes,, "Southern Illinois University president ousted amid swirling controversy," 13 July 2018 Internal strife within her coalition has become so acrimonious that could bring down her government, but Merkel told parliament the implications were even broader. Fox News, "Merkel defends migrant record, calls for European solution," 28 June 2018 Images of the strife-ridden nation have been widely broadcast and stories of catastrophe and struggle have been at the forefront. National Geographic, "Amid a Civil War, These Syrians Keep Dancing," 26 June 2018

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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Statistics for strife

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for strife

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

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More Definitions for strife



English Language Learners Definition of strife

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


\ˈstrīf \

Kids Definition of strife

: bitter and sometimes violent disagreement political strife

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More from Merriam-Webster on strife

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with strife

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for strife

Spanish Central: Translation of strife

Nglish: Translation of strife for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of strife for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about strife

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to make faulty or ineffective

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