Synonym Chooser

How does the noun strife contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of strife are conflict, contention, discord, dissension, and variance. While all these words mean "a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony," strife emphasizes a struggle for superiority rather than the incongruity or incompatibility of the persons or things involved.

during his brief reign the empire was never free of civil strife

When is it sensible to use conflict instead of strife?

While the synonyms conflict and strife are close in meaning, conflict usually stresses the action of forces in opposition but in static applications implies an irreconcilability as of duties or desires.

the conflict of freedom and responsibility

In what contexts can contention take the place of strife?

The words contention and strife can be used in similar contexts, but contention applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy.

several points of contention about the new zoning law

When could discord be used to replace strife?

While in some cases nearly identical to strife, discord implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism.

a political party long racked by discord

When might dissension be a better fit than strife?

The words dissension and strife are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, dissension implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions.

religious dissension threatened to split the colony

When would variance be a good substitute for strife?

In some situations, the words variance and strife are roughly equivalent. However, variance implies a clash between persons or things owing to a difference in nature, opinion, or interest.

cultural variances that work against a national identity

Thesaurus Entries Near strife

Cite this Entry

“Strife.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on strife

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!