struggle

verb
strug·​gle | \ ˈstrə-gəl How to pronounce struggle (audio) \
struggled; struggling\ ˈstrə-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce struggle (audio) \

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 How to pronounce struggle (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for struggle

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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 But the county and other areas that use SROs saw charter schools struggle early on in affording to pay for on-campus law enforcement, the Sentinel reported in 2018. Cristóbal Reyes, orlandosentinel.com, "Osceola SRO task force releases final recommendations ahead of contentious meeting," 29 Apr. 2021 This collapse plays out against the backdrop of a heavily stratified community, where the working-class locals struggle while the college kids and rich vacationers live like kings. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Paranormal thriller ‘Things Heard & Seen’ fails to deliver on its promise," 29 Apr. 2021 Rather than focus exclusively on housing units, The Enquirer’s analysis dived deep into U.S. Census estimates to determine how many people struggle to pay the rent. Dan Horn, The Enquirer, "Analysis: How serious is the affordable housing problem Issue 3 is supposed to fix?," 29 Apr. 2021 The fourth challenge—something military leaders especially struggle with—is the impossibility of applying the principle of sunk costs to human life. Mike Hayes, Time, "President Biden Made the Right Choice to Withdraw from Afghanistan," 29 Apr. 2021 Being the only member of her family to struggle with psoriasis didn't help matters. Amanda Mitchell, Allure, "7 Black Women With Skin Conditions Share Their Path to Diagnosis," 28 Apr. 2021 That is no doubt welcome revenue for school districts in rural areas, which sometimes struggle to generate local tax revenue. Ben Hoen, The Conversation, "Wind farms bring windfalls for rural schools, but school finance laws limit how money is spent," 28 Apr. 2021 Restaurant owners have had to struggle with pandemic shutdowns, an economic downturn, supply chain snarls, a slow return of customers and staff, and costs to implement new coronavirus mitigation measures and procedures. NBC News, "Pandemic-ravaged restaurants can soon tap a $29B grant program," 28 Apr. 2021 Who on earth needs that much money while so many others (even within the same company) struggle just to scrape by? Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Unemployment numbers, CEO compensation, juror impartiality," 28 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That struggle has been a feature of his speeches on the Senate floor and on the world stage. Philip Elliott, Time, "Biden Reaches the Summit of American Power in a Way Never Imagined," 29 Apr. 2021 This struggle of estrangement, for many, is often a life sentence—no matter how much therapy (a privilege in itself) is involved. Christina Wyman, Marie Claire, "Being Estranged From My Mom Is Hard. Mother’s Day Makes It Harder," 27 Apr. 2021 The two names are on a collision course in Montgomery, where a struggle is underway on whether to remove Davis’ name from a 1-1/2 mile stretch of city street and replace it with Gray’s name. al, "Will Montgomery rename Jefferson Davis Avenue after civil rights icon?," 25 Apr. 2021 But the struggle is far from over as Chad — a key Western ally in the fight against violent extremism — confronts uprisings and insurgencies from practically every direction. Washington Post, "As Chad buries slain leader Idriss Déby, rebel threat looms," 23 Apr. 2021 Putting aside the legal technicalities, the Year 15 struggle is understandable from the big picture. Peter J Reilly, Forbes, "New York AG Supports Community Group In Battle With AIG Over Tax Credit Property," 21 Apr. 2021 The struggle over the leadership at the Interior Department is just one example of how the agency has become the first big battlefield in the brewing fight over Biden’s climate change agenda. Author: Juliet Eilperin, Joshua Partlow, Anchorage Daily News, "Interior Department becomes battlefield in fight over response to climate change," 14 Apr. 2021 In Miami, the struggle to find restaurant workers isn’t likely to end soon. New York Times, "As Diners Return, Restaurants Face a New Hurdle: Finding Workers," 8 Apr. 2021 But Tastemade is betting that once the pandemic abates, the struggle will be worth it. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, "‘Struggle Meals’ was a pandemic hit. Now, Tastemade is remaking it abroad," 30 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for struggle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for struggle

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Struggle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/struggle. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce struggle (audio) \
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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Comments on struggle

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