Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To exert muscular energy, as against a material force or mass: struggled with the heavy load.
  • intransitive v. To be strenuously engaged with a problem, task, or undertaking: struggled with his math homework.
  • intransitive v. To make a strenuous effort; strive: struggled to be polite.
  • intransitive v. To contend or compete: "Right and wrong ... will ever continue to struggle” ( Abraham Lincoln).
  • intransitive v. To progress with difficulty: struggled through the novel.
  • transitive v. To move or place (something) with an effort: struggled the heavy desk into the elevator.
  • n. The act of struggling.
  • n. Strenuous effort; striving.
  • n. Combat; strife: armed struggle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. strife, contention, great effort
  • v. to strive, to labour in difficulty, to fight (for or against), to contend.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A violent effort or efforts with contortions of the body; agony; distress.
  • n. Great labor; forcible effort to obtain an object, or to avert an evil.
  • n. Contest; contention; strife.
  • intransitive v. To strive, or to make efforts, with a twisting, or with contortions of the body.
  • intransitive v. To use great efforts; to labor hard; to strive; to contend forcibly.
  • intransitive v. To labor in pain or anguish; to be in agony; to labor in any kind of difficulty or distress.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To put forth violent effort, as in an emergency or as a result of intense excitation; act or strive strenuously against some antagonistic force or influence; be engaged in an earnest effort or conflict; labor or contend urgently, as for some object: used chiefly of persons, but also, figuratively, of things.
  • Synonyms Strive, etc. (see attempt); toil.
  • n. A violent effort; a strenuous or straining exertion; a strenuous endeavor to accomplish, avoid, or escape something; a contest with some opposing force: as, a struggle to get free; the struggle of death; a struggle with poverty.
  • n. Synonyms Endeavor. Effort, Exertion, Pains, Labor. Struggle. See strife. The above are in the order of strength.

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

  • v. make a strenuous or labored effort
  • n. an energetic attempt to achieve something
  • n. an open clash between two opposing groups (or individuals)
  • n. strenuous effort
  • v. climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling
  • v. to exert strenuous effort against opposition
  • v. be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight

Etymologies

Middle English struglen.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English struglen, stroglen, strogelen, of obscure origin. Cognate with Scots strugil ("to struggle, grapple, contend"). Perhaps from a variant of *strokelen, *stroukelen ( > English stroll), from Middle Dutch struyckelen ("to stumble, trip, falter"; > Modern Dutch struikelen), the frequentative form of Old Dutch *strūkon (“to stumble”), from Proto-Germanic *strūkōnan, *strūkēnan (“to be stiff”), from Proto-Indo-European *strug-, *ster- (“to be stiff; to bristle, strut, stumble, fall”), related to Middle Low German strûkelen ("to stumble"; > Low German strükeln), Old High German strūhhēn, strūhhōn ("to stumble, trip, tumble, go astray"; > Modern German strauchen, straucheln). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The great principle at the bottom of everything in Nature is that the fittest survives: or, as I think it is better to say it, in any particular conflict or struggle that thing survives which is the fittest to survive _in this particular struggle_.

    Young Folks' Library, Volume XI (of 20) Wonders of Earth, Sea and Sky

  • But while this security will become complete under the régime of socialism, which will assure to every man who works the material means of life, this will not exclude the intellectual forms of the struggle for existence which M. Tchisch recently said should be interpreted not only in the sense of a _struggle for life_, but also in the sense of a _struggle for the enrichment of life_. [

    Socialism and Modern Science (Darwin, Spencer, Marx)

  • His main struggle is going to be Hillary trying to sabotage his campaign.

    Obama still struggles with some Democrats

  • The character's main struggle is to keep her dual identities separate in accordinace with society's rules that you be either boy or girl but never both.

    Ishoo Wun

  • I put in the time to watch them struggle with their emotion (I use the term struggle loosely) only to have some anti-climatic kiss in the back of a flower shop and a lame professing of love.

    AfterEllen.com - Because visibility matters

  • I think here the struggle is the disparity between how much art there is and how so little access there is to it for certain communities.

    Haitian American Author Pens Book About Immigration

  • Though the bishop went on to explain that the struggle is a spiritual one and the means nonviolent, he announced an apocalyptic struggle against evil “that may rival any in time past.”

    Pope John Paul II

  • In many ways -- not all, but many -- our struggle is theirs and their struggle is ours, and the struggle of others too.

    A Sodomite's Sermon

  • "We are now two-and-a-half years deep into a crisis, and for the [average] homeowner the struggle is as great today as it was before," says Eileen Anderson, senior vice president of Community Development Corp. of Long Island, a New York state nonprofit housing organization.

    One Probe, 50 States, High Stakes

  • From car accident to corporate looting, from criminal case to child custody dispute, the struggle is always a fight to fit the available facts for judge and jury into a credible narrative that serves a specific outcome.

    January « 2008 « Bill Ayers

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