struggle

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

Residents in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang were seen using umbrellas to shield themselves from wind and rain while struggling to walk through wet streets. Washington Post, "Typhoon kills 3 in South Korea before moving to North Korea," 9 Sep. 2019 Fred's is only the latest retailer closing its doors as many traditional retailers struggle to compete with online businesses. Sarah Min, CBS News, "Fred's to close all remaining stores after declaring bankruptcy," 9 Sep. 2019 She and her mom struggled to find information about the program on state websites. Jenny Gold, The Mercury News, "A young woman, a wheelchair and the fight to take her place at Stanford," 8 Sep. 2019 But this twisty, tingly mystery grips you tight by introducing assorted possibilities for just who might be as Dean, in a fiercely poignant turn by Macdonald, struggles to exact justice for her son. New York Times, "The Week in Arts: A Mini-Festival of Music and a 9/11 Remembrance," 7 Sep. 2019 After coming back from a seven-run deficit Thursday night to win 11-9 in 13 innings, the Astros once more trailed after a half-inning as Valdez struggled through four innings with six strikeouts, six walks and three runs on two hits. David Barron, Houston Chronicle, "Astros rally again to defeat Mariners," 7 Sep. 2019 Dressing up as Hitler, though, filled him with shame, adding another level of anxiety to a shoot fraught with anxiety as Waititi struggled to hone the movie's tone. Glenn Whipp, chicagotribune.com, "Taika Waititi didn’t want ‘Jojo Rabbit’ to be a sad Holocaust film. So he added Adolf Hitler," 6 Sep. 2019 But Biden, 76, has continued to sit at the top of the polls as Bennet struggles to sell himself as a sensible, electable alternative to members of the party’s liberal wing such as Sens. Nicholas Riccardi, The Denver Post, "Michael Bennet picks up presidential backing of Gary Hart, former senator from Colorado," 6 Sep. 2019 This comes at a time when many U.S. home buyers are already struggling to find affordable homes. Renae Merle, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump administration releases plan to revamp the US housing market," 6 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Killings of transgender women mirror Mexico's broader struggle against cartel and gang violence, with homicide totals setting new records several years running. NBC News, "Trans women in Mexico fight for justice as murders go unpunished," 10 Sep. 2019 Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know (Soho Press) is a YA novel that on premise alone already combines a few of our favorite things: Paris, relatable college admissions struggles, and an intriguing literary mystery. Teen Vogue, "The First Excerpt of Samira Ahmed's "Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know" Is an Immersive YA Adventure Story in Paris," 10 Sep. 2019 Those struggles have played out in recent months on the high seas, with a string of episodes in which Iran and Western nations have seized each other’s tankers, raising tensions all around. BostonGlobe.com, "Those struggles have played out in recent months on the high seas, with a string of episodes in which Iran and Western nations have seized each other’s tankers, raising tensions all around.," 10 Sep. 2019 Who’s Been There DEAR DAD: Any pulling back or withdrawal can be a sign of mental health struggles. Amy Dickinson, The Mercury News, "Ask Amy: Aunt’s insults alienated teenager, and his mom is fed up, too," 9 Sep. 2019 Guthrie’s anthem beautifully weaves together themes of solidarity, injustice, struggle, and natural splendor. Ady Barkan, Time, "How My Dying Body Could Help Give Yours a Future," 9 Sep. 2019 Besides the Cowboys' performance, the talk of Week 1 was the Antonio Brown drama, the putridness of the Miami Dolphins and the comical familiarity of the Cleveland Browns' struggles. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Memes celebrate Cowboys' win, mock Browns' struggles," 9 Sep. 2019 Any pulling back or withdrawal can be a sign of mental health struggles. Amy Dickinson, The Denver Post, "Ask Amy: Unsolicited advice meets resistance," 9 Sep. 2019 Any pulling back or withdrawal can be a sign of mental health struggles. Ask Amy, al, "Ask Amy: Constant criticism, snarkiness too much for family to handle," 9 Sep. 2019

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

12 Sep 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 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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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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