Definition of strife in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Angry or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues; conflict:

    ‘strife within the community’
    ‘decades of civil strife’
    • ‘Plainly, this kind of guarantee is socially divisive, a recipe for religious controversy if not civil strife.’
    • ‘The hatred of one community against the other shall sow seeds of civil strife.’
    • ‘The controversy is fanning up strife between ethnic Taiwanese and mainlanders.’
    • ‘It is probably the only symbol of stability in a car torn by wars, civil strife and violence.’
    • ‘War and civil strife can lead to disease outbreaks by creating refugee disasters and a breakdown in public health care.’
    • ‘In the popular press there are a lot of stereotypes that depict Africa as a place full of famine and civil strife.’
    • ‘The world had certainly changed but there is still far too much strife and conflict in it to be rightly called safe.’
    • ‘Others said Allah was angry that Muslims were killing Muslims in ongoing civil strife.’
    • ‘The ethnic diversity of Surinam resulted in increasing racial and political strife after World War II.’
    • ‘While he understandably seeks to avoid civil strife, this strategy highlights the ease with which he can be defied.’
    • ‘Obviously, to share a resource like water was to invite conflict and strife.’
    • ‘Many Iraqis hope that it will head off sectarian strife and even civil war.’
    • ‘After years of warfare and bitter strife, this King, Erasmus, changed the course of events for the two states forever.’
    • ‘You are triumphant in conflicts after a period of strife and opposition.’
    • ‘It is a sign of sudden change through conflict and strife.’
    • ‘They're able to return thanks to a peace agreement signed last year, ending three decades of civil strife in Angola.’
    • ‘This exchange remains a constant cause of strife and conflict in my chemistry.’
    • ‘It is best to go around them rather than encounter them directly or you end up in strife and conflict.’
    • ‘However, sometimes strife and conflict help to clear the air and make for better understanding.’
    • ‘Given the history of countries that have wallowed in civil strife, things will never be the same in Ivory Coast.’
    conflict, friction, discord, disagreement, dissension, variance, dispute, argument, quarrelling, wrangling, bickering, controversy, contention
    disharmony, ill feeling, bad feeling, bad blood, hostility, animosity
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Australian, NZ Trouble or difficulty of any kind.
      • ‘One of these days my lack of shame is going to get me into strife.’
      • ‘But even so, Fan says an atmosphere of strife and polarisation remains in the society at large.’
      • ‘There's an old proverb that says humans are born to strife as the sparks fly upward - which is true.’
      • ‘If the labour market doesn't evolve to accommodate the needs of working mothers, there will be strife at home.’
      • ‘This remarkable Archive of Labour unravels a sweeping story of strife and celebration.’
      disruption, disturbance, agitation, upset, trouble, turmoil, tumult, disorder, chaos, anarchy, turbulence, uproar
      View synonyms


Middle English: shortening of Old French estrif (related to Old French estriver strive).