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 But the court now has a 6 to 3 conservative majority and signaled a willingness to reexamine its precedents by reviewing Mississippi’s 15-week prohibition, which lower courts struck down for being in conflict with the decisions in Roe and Casey. Scott Clement, William Bishop, Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Nov. 2021 Her determination, in conflict with her mother's concern, drives the drama. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 Nov. 2021 The above requirements appear to stand in conflict with the goal of privacy coins which can shield potentially identifying information about transferors, transferees, and holders. Hailey Lennon, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2021 But the wide-spanning state bill would put Tennessee law in conflict with the federal policy, with businesses stuck in the middle facing the prospect of lawsuits. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 9 Nov. 2021 The Turkish government has been involved in an armed conflict with Kurdish insurgent groups since 1978, but the issue is mostly localized on the country’s southern border. Patrick Frater, Variety, 5 Nov. 2021 Tedros is a high-ranking member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the political party that rules Tigray and is in open conflict with Ethiopia’s central government. Washington Post, 29 Oct. 2021 Lots of things in life are always in conflict with each other. Lynette Rice, EW.com, 28 Sep. 2021 India’s military is now grappling with a reality that the country has feared for nearly two decades: It is stuck in a two-front conflict with hostile neighbors — and all three are nuclear armed. New York Times, 24 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Barrington did win in one respect: McGuirl’s decision gives the town leeway to write its own regulations that could be acceptable, and wouldn’t necessarily conflict with state law. BostonGlobe.com, 20 Nov. 2021 People who hold assets that might conflict with their day jobs in government run the risk of violating the criminal conflicts-of-interest law. Dan Alexander, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Executive branch employees, for instance, are generally required to recuse themselves from decision making when their financial interests conflict with their official duties. Fredreka Schouten, CNN, 27 Oct. 2021 The Coliseum is now run by USC and talks are expected in the coming weeks to see about scheduling games in 2022 that don’t conflict with USC home games. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2021 Utah Republicans will hold their state convention next year on April 23, which is the only date that doesn’t conflict with the semi-annual LDS conference or Easter Sunday. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 Sep. 2021 Again, this provision ensures that the law does not conflict with Section 230. Clare Morell, National Review, 14 Sep. 2021 Samuels said the recent legal action doesn't conflict with the Black Lives Matter movement, which has been calling for police accountability and reform because of the rate that Black men and women are dying during encounters with police. Alex Chhith, Star Tribune, 1 July 2021 But Robert DeRose, a Columbus attorney who specializes in employment law, testified last year that a similar bill would weaken and conflict with federal worker protections. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 22 Sep. 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

25 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conflict.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conflict. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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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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