conflict

noun
con·​flict | \ ˈkän-ˌflikt How to pronounce conflict (audio) \

Essential Meaning of conflict

1 : a struggle for power, property, etc. an armed conflict violent border conflicts See More Examplesa conflict between two gangs years of armed conflict [=battle] recent violent conflict in the region conflict between (forces of) good and evilHide
2 : strong disagreement between people, groups, etc., that results in often angry argument Everyone in my family always tries to avoid conflict. There was inevitable conflict over what to name the group. See More ExamplesThey're having serious conflicts over the budget. A few students are being trained to resolve conflicts [=arguments, disputes] between other students.Hide
3 : a difference that prevents agreement : disagreement between ideas, feelings, etc. I don't see any conflicts between the theories. exploring the character's inner conflicts [=ideas, feelings, etc., that disagree with one another] You'll need to resolve the conflict between your parents' plans for you and your own ambitions.

Full Definition of conflict

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : fight, battle, war an armed conflict
2a : competitive or opposing action of incompatibles : antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons) a conflict of principles
b : mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands His conscience was in conflict with his duty.
3 : the opposition of persons or forces that gives rise to the dramatic action in a drama or fiction The conflict in the play is between the king and the archbishop.

conflict

verb
con·​flict | \ kən-ˈflikt How to pronounce conflict (audio) , ˈkän-ˌflikt \
conflicted; conflicting; conflicts

Definition of conflict (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to be different, opposed, or contradictory : to fail to be in agreement or accord His statement conflicts with the facts.
2 archaic : to contend in warfare

Other Words from conflict

Noun

conflictful \ ˈkän-​ˌflikt-​fəl How to pronounce conflict (audio) \ adjective
conflictual \ kän-​ˈflik-​chə-​wəl How to pronounce conflict (audio) , kən-​ , -​chəl , -​shwəl , -​chü-​əl \ adjective

Verb

confliction \ kən-​ˈflik-​shən How to pronounce conflict (audio) , kän-​ \ noun
conflictive \ kən-​ˈflik-​tiv How to pronounce conflict (audio) , ˈkän-​ˌflik-​ \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for conflict

Noun

discord, strife, conflict, contention, dissension, variance mean a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony. discord implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism. a political party long racked by discord 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 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 contention applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy. several points of contention about the new zoning law dissension implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions. religious dissension threatened to split the colony 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

Examples of conflict in a Sentence

Noun In great wars—the American Civil War, the First and Second World Wars—the largest casualties are suffered just before the conflicts end. — Steve Forbes, Forbes, 19 Oct. 2009 At a moment when the country was still in the throes of the conflict over Vietnam, it was refreshing to see the best of America. — Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, 2006 … for work-family conflicts to disappear, two rock-ribbed institutions must change: the whole concept of children's care, and the way the workplace works. — Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Family Politics, 1983 The basic conflict in the novel is, of course, between the life on the river, where Huck finds innocence, brotherhood with man, and communion with nature, and life ashore, where, stage by stage, he discovers the corruption of society … — Robert Penn Warren, Democracy and Poetry, (1975) 1976 a conflict between two gangs recent violent conflict in the region Everyone in my family always tries to avoid conflict. There was inevitable conflict over what to name the group. They're having serious conflicts over the budget. I don't see any conflicts between the theories. You'll need to resolve the conflict between your parents' plans for you and your own ambitions. Verb Mr. van Wolferen says the U.S. must do more: It has to openly explain to Japan that it wants a managed-trade deal in order to end the bickering between the two nations, a move that would conflict with America's free-trade rhetoric. — David P. Hamilton, Wall Street Journal, 8 June 1995 Lily smiled faintly at the injunction to take her tea strong. It was the temptation she was always struggling to resist. Her craving for the keen stimulant was forever conflicting with that other craving for sleep … — Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth, 1905 The expectations about motherhood as full-time job that this situation created conflicted with the philosophy of the women's movement of the l960's. — Anita Shreve, New York Times Magazine, 2l Nov. l982 Reports conflicted on how many people were involved. his statement conflicts with the facts, as given in the police report
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The incoming batch of residents will register for placement at hospitals this week, government officials said Sunday after a Supreme Court ruling settled a conflict over quotas. Washington Post, 11 Jan. 2022 Aides said Abrams had a conflict but didn’t explain further. chicagotribune.com, 11 Jan. 2022 Stacey Abrams, a voting-rights activist and former Georgia Democratic minority leader now running for governor, has a conflict and won’t attend the speech, a spokesman said. Alex Leary, WSJ, 11 Jan. 2022 Abrams, who used her 2018 gubernatorial loss to Republican Brian Kemp to elevate voting rights as an issue and is running for governor again in 2022, has a scheduling conflict, a spokesperson told CNN. Dan Merica, CNN, 11 Jan. 2022 Is Ukraine another instance of hawks exaggerating the threat posed by a faraway conflict, or could an invasion there actually lead to a chain reaction of similar interventions around the world? Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 10 Jan. 2022 In November, Madison Square Garden added an 80th show to Joel’s monthly residency slated for May 14, 2022 (though subject to change in the event of a playoff game conflict). Starr Bowenbank, Billboard, 6 Jan. 2022 As an outspoken critic of vaccine mandates and a rising star in the Orange County Republican Party, Ernby has become, postmortem, a lightning rod for a conflict that has split a nation entering the third year of a pandemic. Los Angeles Times, 6 Jan. 2022 With the threat of war looming over Ukraine, the West hopes a flurry of high-level talks the United States and NATO will have this week with Russia will avert a conflict. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 3 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the Arab Spring, food insecurity was a major catalyst to conflict. Michael Helmstetter, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 The court held that the Florida law did not conflict with the Food Additives Amendment for two reasons. Glenn G. Lammi, Forbes, 6 Dec. 2021 Founded in 2010 and originally known as French Blue, the airline rebranded to French Bee in 2018—notably, after expanding to the U.S., so as not to conflict with JetBlue Airways. Rachel King, Fortune, 26 Nov. 2021 Biden and administration officials insist that tapping more oil from the reserve does not conflict with his climate goals, because this short-term fix meets a specific problem, while climate policies are a long-term answer over decades. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 24 Nov. 2021 That could conflict with Wisconsin's longstanding laws to protect the rights of crime victims, which include respect for their privacy. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 Dec. 2021 For the first time, the Visit Mesa Challenge won't conflict with the McClintock Holiday Shootout, which will be played next week, following Christmas. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 20 Dec. 2021 Yet what players consider fair and compelling will always eventually conflict with another priority: how these systems make money. Will Bedingfield, Wired, 16 Dec. 2021 But Francis' statements conflict with church doctrine about LGBTQ people — a doctrine that Duddy-Burke said has been driving people out for decades. NBC News, 10 Dec. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conflict.' 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 conflict

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for conflict

Noun

Middle English conflicte, conflyte "battle, struggle, assault," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French conflykte, conflict, borrowed from Latin conflīctus "striking together, clash," from conflīgere "to strike together, bring into collision, do battle, contend" (from con- con- + flīgere "to strike, dash down") + -tus, suffix of action nouns — more at profligate entry 1

Verb

Middle English conflicten "to engage in battle, fight," borrowed from Latin conflīctus, past participle of conflīgere "to strike together, bring into collision, do battle, contend" — more at conflict entry 1

Learn More About conflict

Time Traveler for conflict

Time Traveler

The first known use of conflict was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near conflict

conflation

conflict

conflict diamond

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Statistics for conflict

Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Conflict.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conflict. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for conflict

conflict

noun
con·​flict | \ ˈkän-ˌflikt How to pronounce conflict (audio) \

Kids Definition of conflict

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an extended struggle : battle
2 : a clashing disagreement (as between ideas or interests)

conflict

verb
con·​flict | \ kən-ˈflikt How to pronounce conflict (audio) \
conflicted; conflicting

Kids Definition of conflict (Entry 2 of 2)

: to be in opposition Their goals conflict. The meeting conflicts with my appointment.

conflict

noun
con·​flict | \ ˈkän-ˌflikt How to pronounce conflict (audio) \

Medical Definition of conflict

: mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands

Other Words from conflict

conflictful \ ˈkän-​ˌflikt-​fəl How to pronounce conflict (audio) \ adjective
conflictless \ ˈkän-​ˌflik-​tləs How to pronounce conflict (audio) \ adjective
conflictual \ kän-​ˈflik-​ch(ə-​w)əl, kən-​ How to pronounce conflict (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on conflict

Nglish: Translation of conflict for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conflict for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about conflict

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