struggle

verb
strug·​gle | \ ˈstrə-gəl \
struggled; struggling\ ˈstrə-​g(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of struggle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make strenuous or violent efforts in the face of difficulties or opposition struggling with the problem
2 : to proceed with difficulty or with great effort struggled through the high grass struggling to make a living

struggle

noun

Definition of struggle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : contest, strife armed struggle a power struggle
2 : a violent effort or exertion : an act of strongly motivated striving a struggle to make ends meet
3 : tussle sense 1 during the struggle the gun went off

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Other Words from struggle

Verb

struggler \ ˈstrə-​g(ə-​)lər \ noun

Synonyms for struggle

Synonyms: Verb

blunder, bumble, flog [British], flounder, limp, lumber, plod, stumble, trudge

Synonyms: Noun

battle, fight, fray, scrabble, throes

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Examples of struggle in a Sentence

Verb

He has been struggling with the problem of how to keep good workers from leaving. They struggled for the right to vote. She struggled up the hill through the snow. She struggled to lift the package by herself, but it was too heavy. He struggled to get free of the wreckage. He's been struggling in math class for most of the year. The team has continued to struggle in recent weeks. He was living as a struggling artist in the city.

Noun

the struggle for civil rights There was a struggle for the gun. There was no sign of a struggle. It was a struggle getting out of bed this morning.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 5.5 million people in the U.S., and scientists and the pharmaceutical industry have struggled to develop effective treatments for it. Jared Hopkins, WSJ, "FDA Challenges Supplement Makers’ Marketing Claims," 11 Feb. 2019 That’s something even decades-old heritage brands struggle to figure out. Emily Farra, Vogue, "A Closer Look at the Handbags That Debuted on Khaite’s Runway Tonight," 8 Feb. 2019 Rather than bringing back jobs, plants are closing, layoffs are looming and wages struggle to keep pace with the actual cost of living. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s speech exaggerates border peril," 6 Feb. 2019 Clock speeds have begun topping out between 4GHz to 5GHz, and the emphasis has shifted to additional cores—which software developers still struggle to fully use—and lower power, part of which is a component of process technology. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel makes Bob Swan its permanent CEO, maintaining a slow, steady course away from the PC," 31 Jan. 2019 Toward the segment's end, an impassioned Whoopi began to talk about ways that American citizens can help struggling federal workers. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Watch 'The View' Star Whoopi Goldberg Totally School Abby Huntsman on Wednesday's Show," 24 Jan. 2019 His success will depend on the ability of Sacramento’s citizens to take his policy positions seriously, unencumbered by his past struggles. Lincoln Anthony Blades, Teen Vogue, "Stevante Clark is Running for Mayor of Sacramento," 3 Jan. 2019 Sears, an American retail staple since 1886, has been struggling in recent years, closing stores, selling off assets and borrowing money. Soma Biswas, WSJ, "Creditors Say Edward Lampert Reaped Billions but Left Sears Insolvent," 24 Jan. 2019 But when researching the demographics of species nearly 800,000 years ago, scientists have struggled with their complexity. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "AI Predicts Humans Have an Ancestor We Don't Even Know About Yet," 17 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As if preparing the food for a dinner party wasn't stressful enough, there's also the struggle of setting the table correctly. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Set a Table for Any Kind of Dinner Party," 19 Dec. 2018 Having a sense of gratitude often helps me out of the ‘travel is a burden’ self-talk that can cause the inevitable micro-struggles of travel to appear more dramatic. Annie Daly, SELF, "16 Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy When You Travel A LOT, From People Who Do It," 6 Dec. 2018 The good thing about the struggle of wearing a wig while working out is the immediate removal. Jacqueline Laurean Yates, Allure, "Wig Goals & Lace-Front Holes: How Porsha Williams Cares for Her Epic Wig Collection," 20 Sep. 2018 But sharing our struggles helps remove the stigma, reframe our stories, and instill hope. Clay Marsh, STAT, "Facing deaths of despair from the depths of despair in West Virginia," 12 July 2018 Shares in Hong Kong-listed SJM Holdings, controlled by the family of 97-year-old casino magnate Stanley Ho, have jumped 12% in the past two days as a winner seems to have emerged from a yearslong struggle for control. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "This Macau Family Saga Remains a Big Gamble," 25 Jan. 2019 The border wall and border security remain a controversial topic in the ongoing government shutdown as Congress and President Trump struggle to agree on funding. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "Why Doesn't Criminal Justice Reform Doesn't Include Immigration Law?," 9 Jan. 2019 All of this may mean that at any given moment, recycling can be anything from highly profitable to a struggle to cover costs. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Bikes, bowling balls, and the delicate balancing act that is modern recycling," 31 Dec. 2018 In the opaque world of politics, that’s a pretty normal struggle: Nonprofits donate to other nonprofits. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Reid Hoffman is learning an early rule of being a megadonor: It’s hard to keep track of your money," 26 Dec. 2018

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for struggle

Verb

Middle English struglen

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Statistics for struggle

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for struggle

The first known use of struggle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for struggle

struggle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of struggle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to try very hard to do, achieve, or deal with something that is difficult or that causes problems
: to move with difficulty or with great effort
: to try to move yourself, an object, etc., by making a lot of effort

struggle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of struggle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a long effort to do, achieve, or deal with something that is difficult or that causes problems
: a physical fight between usually two people
: something that is difficult to do or achieve

struggle

verb
strug·​gle | \ ˈstrə-gəl \
struggled; struggling

Kids Definition of struggle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make a great effort to do or achieve something or to overcome someone or something I struggled with the burglar. We're struggling with money problems.
2 : to move with difficulty or with great effort A woman struggled through the snow.

struggle

noun

Kids Definition of struggle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a difficult or violent effort Though it was a struggle to lift my eyes, I did so.— Avi, Crispin

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More from Merriam-Webster on struggle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with struggle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for struggle

Spanish Central: Translation of struggle

Nglish: Translation of struggle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of struggle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on struggle

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