Definition of strife in English:

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Pronunciation: /strʌɪf/


[mass noun]
1Angry or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues; conflict: strife within the community decades of civil strife
More example sentences
  • Many Iraqis hope that it will head off sectarian strife and even civil war.
  • Others said Allah was angry that Muslims were killing Muslims in ongoing civil strife.
  • Plainly, this kind of guarantee is socially divisive, a recipe for religious controversy if not civil strife.
conflict, friction, discord, disagreement, dissension, variance, dispute, argument, quarrelling, wrangling, bickering, controversy, contention;
disharmony, ill feeling, bad feeling, bad blood, hostility, animosity
informal falling-out
1.1Australian /NZ Trouble or difficulty of any kind.
Example sentences
  • If the labour market doesn't evolve to accommodate the needs of working mothers, there will be strife at home.
  • But even so, Fan says an atmosphere of strife and polarisation remains in the society at large.
  • One of these days my lack of shame is going to get me into strife.


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

  • strive from Middle English:

    Strive and strife both come from shortened forms of Old French estriver ‘strive’. As well as expressing conflict, the word in early examples meant ‘striving together’.

Words that rhyme with strife

fife, Fyfe, knife, life, pro-life, rife, still-life, wife

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: strife

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