\ ˈstrīf How to pronounce strife (audio) \

Definition of strife

1a : bitter sometimes violent conflict or dissension political strife
b : an act of contention : fight, struggle
2 : exertion or contention for superiority
3 archaic : earnest endeavor

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Other Words from strife

strifeless \ ˈstrī-​fləs How to pronounce strife (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for strife

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 strife in a Sentence

in order to avoid family strife, the children spend equal time during the holidays with both of their grandmothers bitter strife between the two political factions
Recent Examples on the Web Transformational efforts like this can cause strife and resistance among the humans and teams involved, but technology fiefdoms and operational silos must be torn down. Jeff Pedowitz, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 But in 2021, with the world facing the COVID-19 pandemic, political strife and social justice issues, the words of these powerful women seem more powerful than ever. Mitchell Wellman, USA TODAY, 22 Sep. 2021 In a city historically plagued by racial strife and class divisions, unity can sometimes feel elusive, dangerously slippery. Jason Parham, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2021 Following nearly two decades of strife, relations between Webber and the Wolverines have softened, thanks to an apology from current athletic director Warde Manuel. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2021 But considering all the strife going on, how and why would anyone feel inclined to buy luxury items? Michael Polk, Rolling Stone, 24 Sep. 2021 In the strife of Truth with Falsehood for the good or evil side. Martin Luther King, CNN, 27 Aug. 2021 Herrington traces some of the strife to last fall’s debate over changing the name of the high school mascot, from the Indians to the Grizzlies. Daniela Altimari,, 4 Aug. 2021 The Maryland governor, J. Millard Tawes, declared martial law in June 1963, bringing in hundreds of National Guard troops, some of whom would be wounded amid the strife., 18 July 2021

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for strife

Middle English strif, from Anglo-French estrif, estri, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch striden to fight, Old High German strītan to quarrel — more at stride

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Time Traveler for strife

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The first known use of strife was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Strife.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for strife



English Language Learners Definition of strife

: very angry or violent disagreement between two or more people or groups


\ ˈstrīf How to pronounce strife (audio) \

Kids Definition of strife

: bitter and sometimes violent disagreement political strife

More from Merriam-Webster on strife

Nglish: Translation of strife for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of strife for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about strife


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