verb \ ˈstrīv \
Updated on: 14 Jan 2018

Definition of strive

strove play \ˈstrōv\ also strived play \ˈstrīvd\; striven play \ˈstri-vən\ or strived; striving play \ˈstrī-viŋ\
intransitive verb
1 : to devote serious effort or energy : endeavor
  • strive to finish a project
2 : to struggle in opposition : contend


play \ˈstrī-vər\ noun

Examples of strive in a Sentence

  1. We must all strive to do better.

  2. She always strives for perfection.

  3. They continue to strive toward their goals.

Recent Examples of strive from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of strive

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

strive Synonyms

bang away, beaver (away), dig (away), drudge, endeavor, fag, grub, hump, hustle, moil, peg (away), plod, plow, plug, slave, slog, strain, labor, struggle, sweat, toil, travail, tug, work
Related Words
apply (oneself), buckle (down), dig in, hammer (away), knuckle down, pitch in; attack, drive; essay, try; exercise, exert, overexert, overwork; eke out, grind (out), put out, scrabble, scratch; trudge, wade
Near Antonyms
break, ease (up), let up, slacken; bum, chill, dally, dillydally, footle, goldbrick, goof (off), hack (around), hang (around or out), idle, laze, loaf, lounge, shirk, slack (off), veg out; bask, loll, relax, repose, rest, unwind; dabble, doodle, fool around, fribble, goof (around), hang, hang about [British], mess around, monkey (around), play, potter (around), putter (around), trifle

Synonym Discussion of 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

STRIVE Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of strive for English Language Learners

  • : to try very hard to do or achieve something

STRIVE Defined for Kids


verb \ ˈstrīv \

Definition of strive for Students

strove \ˈstrōv\; striven \ˈstri-vən\ or strived; striving \ˈstrī-viŋ\
: to try very hard
  • We will strive to win.

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feeling or showing sorrow and remorse

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