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



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

Other Words from struggle


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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The fact that our brains struggle with speedy risk assessment isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Lila Thulin, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 May 2022 Attitudes have improved in the years since—but some doctors, once unsure of long COVID’s existence, now struggle to wrap their head around the prospect of out-of-the-box treatments. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 10 May 2022 The pain and struggle with mental health is horrendous. Joseph Goodman |, al, 9 May 2022 Many of the hair-health issues that many men struggle with are often caused by using the wrong shampoo. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 May 2022 Lyoya, a Black man, was shot on April 4 following a foot chase and struggle over a Taser after police pulled him over for an allegedly unregistered license plate. Ray Sanchez, Samantha Beech And Peter Nickeas, CNN, 7 May 2022 But on Thursday, those market moves were reversed as traders worried that officials could struggle to fight inflation amid the threat of a recession. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 The Garcias’ were further hammered Thursday by one of the worst days for the stock market in more than two years, sparked by concerns that the Federal Reserve will struggle to contain rising inflation. Scott Carpenter, Fortune, 6 May 2022 The Ukrainians have suffered steep losses, too—and might struggle to mobilize and equip reservists in time to take advantage of shifts in the war’s momentum. David Axe, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun According to court documents, Acoli’s gun went off during a struggle with Foerster, who had responded as backup. David Porter, ajc, 10 May 2022 Friends and family of Kershner’s said two Black men — one short and one tall — had forced their way into his apartment, and the tall suspect shot the teenager during a struggle. Marek Mazurek, ProPublica, 5 May 2022 During the struggle, one round went off, hitting Pacheco in his right thigh. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 May 2022 During the struggle, Officer Schurr alternately puts his arms around Mr. Lyoya’s neck, holds his head down, pulls his arms behind his back and, at one point, knees him. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2022 Staff members at Sedgwick County Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center held Cedric Lofton down for more than 30 minutes during a struggle with authorities after his arrest around 1 a.m. on Sept. 24, 2021. NBC News, 25 Apr. 2022 That Samuel died during the struggle, of old age, no doubt increased their sense of insecurity. Carolina Schneider Comandulli, Scientific American, 23 Apr. 2022 Lyoya was fatally shot during a struggle with a Grand Rapids police officer following a traffic stop. Editors, USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 2022 The officer apparently deployed his Taser twice during the struggle and at points during the incident Lyoya put his hands on the Taser, the video shows. Omar Jimenez And Steve Almasy, CNN, 15 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of struggle


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for struggle


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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Dictionary Entries Near struggle



struggle for existence

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Statistics for struggle

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Struggle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for struggle


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.



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: The Cross of Lead

More from Merriam-Webster on struggle

Nglish: Translation of struggle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of struggle for Arabic Speakers


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