Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To exert muscular energy, as against a material force or mass.
  • intransitive verb To be strenuously engaged with a problem, task, or undertaking.
  • intransitive verb To have difficulty or make a strenuous effort doing something.
  • intransitive verb To move or progress with difficulty.
  • intransitive verb To contend or compete.
  • intransitive verb To move or place (something) with an effort.
  • noun The act of struggling.
  • noun A strenuous effort in the face of difficulty.
  • noun Strife, contention, or combat.
  • noun Something that is difficult to do or achieve.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Synonyms Endeavor. Effort, Exertion, Pains, Labor. Struggle. See strife. The above are in the order of strength.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English struglen.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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).

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 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

  • 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

  • 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.”

    What planet is "America" magazine living on?

  • 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.”

    Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog:

  • 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

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