Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Heated, often violent dissension; bitter conflict. See Synonyms at discord.
  • n. A struggle, fight, or quarrel.
  • n. Contention or competition between rivals.
  • n. Archaic Earnest endeavor or striving.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Conflict, sometimes violent, usually brief or limited in scope.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of striving; earnest endeavor.
  • n. Exertion or contention for superiority; contest of emulation, either by intellectual or physical efforts.
  • n. Altercation; violent contention; fight; battle.
  • n. That which is contended against; occasion of contest.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A striving or effort to do one's best; earnest attempt or endeavor.
  • n. Emulative contention or rivalry; active struggle for superiority; emulation.
  • n. Antagonistic contention; contention characterized by anger or enmity; discord; conflict; quarrel: as, strife of the elements.
  • n. Synonyms and Strife, Contention. These words agree in being very general, in having a good sense possible, and in seeming elevated or poetical when applied to the organized quarrels of war or to anything more than oral disputes. Strife is the stronger. Contention often indicates the more continued and methodical effort, and hence is more often the word for rivalry in effort to possess something. Such a rivalry, when definite in form and limited in time, is a contest: as, the contests of the Creek games. A contention that is forcible, violent, exhausting, or attended with real or figurative convulsions or contortions, is a struggle. See battle, encounter.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. bitter conflict; heated often violent dissension
  • n. lack of agreement or harmony

Etymologies

Middle English strif, from Old French estrit, estrif, from Frankish *strīd.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French estrif, from Frankish strīban, ultimately of Germanic origin, compare German Streit ("quarrel, dispute") and Icelandic stríð ("war") and Dutch strijd. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Strife: The last name of the main character in Final Fantasy VII, Cloud.

    "Cloud Strife never says a word."


    ah! How could I forget this one.

    I like doing things, with great strife.

    December 22, 2006