\ˈstrīv \
strove\ˈstrōv \ also strived\ˈstrīvd \; striven\ˈstri-​vən \ or strived; striving\ˈstrī-​viŋ \

Definition of strive 

intransitive verb

1 : to devote serious effort or energy : endeavor strive to finish a project

2 : to struggle in opposition : contend

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from strive

striver \ˈstrī-​vər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for strive

attempt, try, endeavor, essay, strive mean to make an effort to accomplish an end. attempt stresses the initiation or beginning of an effort. will attempt to photograph the rare bird try is often close to attempt but may stress effort or experiment made in the hope of testing or proving something. tried to determine which was the better procedure endeavor heightens the implications of exertion and difficulty. endeavored to find crash survivors in the mountains essay implies difficulty but also suggests tentative trying or experimenting. will essay a dramatic role for the first time strive implies great exertion against great difficulty and specifically suggests persistent effort. continues to strive for peace

Examples of strive in a Sentence

We must all strive to do better. She always strives for perfection. They continue to strive toward their goals.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

This is why, in practical terms, striving for the Rawlsian ideal matters. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 2018 campaign revealed the true fissure in American democracy," 6 Nov. 2018 With jamming, absolute precision is impossible, but the robot strives for it nonetheless. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Watch a robot build columns out of only gravel and string," 15 Oct. 2018 What does striving for adoption, or fostering, look like for a Black couple in a working class household?, "TV Has Made Major Strides With Gay Dads — Except For This Big Problem," 14 June 2018 Technologies like GoreTex or Patagonia’s H2No strive to keep out water from the outside, while simultaneously allowing your sweat to evaporate off your body and escape. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "7 Tips for Packing All the Right Clothing for Your First Backpacking Trip," 24 Oct. 2018 Qi is a standard, and a phone should strive to work with every charger. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "DRM for chargers? Google Pixel 3 locks fast Qi charging to certified chargers [Update]," 23 Oct. 2018 Amid the struggle, the couple strives for normalcy, for experiences most people can enjoy without a second thought. Fox News, "Living with fear: Vegas shooting survivor, wife march on," 27 Sep. 2018 Russian law enforcement strived to present a tolerant image during the World Cup, but police have already shown less tolerance against protesters since the tournament ended. Tales Azzoni, The Seattle Times, "Organizers claim 170 people tried to run on field at WCup," 25 Sep. 2018 Oil and gas executives strive to maintain company profits, which seemingly means doing everything in their power to hold back the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. Izzi Graj, Teen Vogue, "Climate Change Needs to Be an Important Platform for Elected Leaders, and Here’s Why," 14 Sep. 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for strive

Middle English, to quarrel, contend, fight, endeavor, from Anglo-French estriver to quarrel, from estri, estrif strife — more at strife

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about strive

Dictionary Entries near strive

strip windows







Statistics for strive

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for strive

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for strive



English Language Learners Definition of strive

: to try very hard to do or achieve something


\ˈstrīv \
strove\ˈstrōv \; striven\ˈstri-​vən \ or strived; striving\ˈstrī-​viŋ \

Kids Definition of strive

: to try very hard We will strive to win.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on strive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with strive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for strive

Spanish Central: Translation of strive

Nglish: Translation of strive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of strive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on strive

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


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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