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

For the uninitiated, Turtles All the Way Down tells the story of 16-year-old Aza, who struggles with OCD. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Hannah Marks to Direct Film Adaptation of John Green's "Turtles All the Way Down"," 13 Jan. 2019 China approved the company’s new herbicide-resistant soybean, the WSJ’s Jacob Bunge reports, opening new markets for American farmers who are struggling to control hard-to-kill weeds. Erica E. Phillips, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Shoppers Skip the Mall; Trade War Disrupts; Huawei Exports Blocked," 11 Jan. 2019 On the other hand, those who struggled, simply didn't work hard enough. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "What is Capitalism?," 7 Jan. 2019 Kérastase offers a Fusio Dose Densifique treatment at its salons, specifically designed for women who struggle with fine hair but still want to keep hair healthy. Amy Marturana, SELF, "17 Styling Tricks Women with Fine, Flat Hair Need to Know," 21 Dec. 2018 Ultimately, though, Mattis’s tumultuous time paints a picture of a sharp mind and defender of America’s traditional role in the world who struggled to agree with his boss on matters of life and death. Alex Ward, Vox, "James Mattis, the last “adult” in the Trump administration, resigns as defense secretary," 20 Dec. 2018 The glass is one of Skvarla and Conrad's personal favorites, made in Mexico by artisans with physical disabilities who have struggled to get jobs elsewhere due to discrimination. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Lauren Conrad And Hannah Skvarla Of The Little Market Are Changing The World," 11 Dec. 2018 So Giselle quit her job as an assistant property manager to homeschool Brooklyn, who struggled with ADHD, using an online curriculum that prioritized her daughter’s preference for visual learning. Shelley Levitt, Woman's Day, "These 4 Inspirational Women Went to Great Lengths for Their Kids," 4 Dec. 2018 The Baltic Express flew near Soviet airspace on a weekly basis, taunting the USSR’s best pilots who struggled in vain to intercept it. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Swedish Pilots Win Medals for Top Secret 1987 SR-71 Incident," 29 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meanwhile, the hobbits, particularly Frodo and Sam, struggle at every step of their trek. Aja Romano, Vox, "In the era of Trump and apocalyptic change, Hopepunk is a storytelling template for #resistance — and hanging onto your humanity at all costs.," 27 Dec. 2018 Indeed, many multifactor ETFs struggle to match the performance of broad market indexes. WSJ, "What Are ‘Multifactor’ ETFs? And Do They Work?," 9 Dec. 2018 Her struggles, of course, pale in comparison to how grateful Jennie Marie feels to get to share her passion with everyone — yes, even those vocal skeptics online. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Why 'Mama Medium' Jennie Marie Doesn't Care If You Think She's Fake," 3 Dec. 2018 For example, self-driving cars struggle to make unprotected left turns with other cars approaching from the opposite direction—a task that's much more challenging at higher speeds. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Waymo’s ambitious plans for high-speed taxis could be holding it back," 3 Dec. 2018 In a country where the soccer conversation is overwhelmingly dominated by talk of Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona, female players in Argentina struggle to be heard. Debora Rey, The Seattle Times, "Argentine women fight against inequality in soccer," 7 Nov. 2018 The struggles of the gang, personal relationships, future dreams, the constant encroachment of civilization. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Red Dead Redemption 2 is the most convincing open-world game ever made," 25 Oct. 2018 The biggest struggle that most people have with end-of-life decision making is figuring out when is the right time to move forward with euthanasia. Ace Ratcliff, SELF, "Pet Euthanasia at Home: 6 Ways to Make Putting Down Your Pet Easier on Them—and You," 25 Oct. 2018 But this season has been a mighty struggle, especially with his command. Bob Brookover, Philly.com, "Enyel De Los Santos' arm and Maikel Franco's bat guide Phillies into first | Extra Innings," 11 July 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

17 Jan 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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