\ 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 strifeless (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 From hype to strife: This was supposed to be the year the Browns turned it all around. USA TODAY, "2019 NFL season's best and worst: From Lamar Jackson's excellence to Antonio Brown's misadventures," 28 Dec. 2019 In some tourist locales -- notably, getaways for New Yorkers, including the Hamptons and Jersey Shore -- the travel bans have sparked some strife among full-time residents and those who own second homes there. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Coronavirus pits cities and states against each other as they try to stop spread from out-of-towners," 31 Mar. 2020 Competition for Daraprim is bad news for Phoenixus, which has been saddled with declining revenue and internal strife. Damian Garde, STAT, "FDA approves a generic version of the drug Martin Shkreli monopolized," 28 Feb. 2020 And although Taiwan has temporarily barred entry to most Hong Kongers amid the coronavirus outbreak, many in Hong Kong view the island as a place to resettle should their political strife worsen. Nick Aspinwall, Washington Post, "For Hong Kong refugees, new life in Taiwan means traversing a legal twilight zone," 24 Feb. 2020 Duncanville in the last five years under Samples’ leadership offers a distinct example of non-district strife. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "A rare peril: How dominance can become a hindrance for powerhouse football teams’ non-district schedules," 29 Jan. 2020 If the citizens of diverse societies don’t unite against it, repression and strife are inevitable, and liberal democracy will be in peril. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Liberal Democracy’s Threats From Within," 22 Jan. 2020 At the time, Dallas leaders grappled with racial strife and law enforcement faced national scrutiny. Dallas Morning News, "Texas law enforcement uses hypnosis to investigate crimes. Does it uncover the truth?," 8 Apr. 2020 His short tenure was marked by internal strife, and Beilein eventually resigned after 54 games, before the end of the NBA All-Star break. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball's two seniors appreciative of John Beilein's support on senior night," 6 Mar. 2020

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

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Strife.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for strife


How to pronounce strife (audio)

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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