Definition of struggle noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈstrʌɡl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈstrʌɡl//
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  1. 1  [countable] a hard fight in which people try to obtain or achieve something, especially something that somebody else does not want them to have a power/leadership struggle struggle (with somebody) (for/against something) a struggle for independence Three teams are locked in a struggle for this year's title. struggle (with somebody) (to do something) He is engaged in a bitter struggle with his rival to get control of the company. struggle (between A and B) the struggle between good and evil She will not give up her children without a struggle. Synonymscampaignbattle struggle drive war fightThese are all words for an effort made to achieve or prevent something.campaign a series of planned activities that are intended to achieve a particular social, commercial or political aim:the campaign for parliamentary reform an advertising campaign battle a competition or argument between people or groups of people trying to win power or control:She finally won the legal battle for compensation. the endless battle between man and naturestruggle a competition or argument between people or groups of people trying to win power or control:the struggle for independence the struggle between good and evilbattle or struggle?A struggle is always about things that seem absolutely necessary, such as life and death or freedom. A battle can also be about things that are not absolutely necessary, just desirable, or about the pleasure of winning:the battle/​struggle between good and evil a legal struggle for compensation a struggle of wills/​wits.drive an organized effort by a group of people to achieve something:the drive for greater efficiency a drive to reduce energy consumptioncampaign or drive?A campaign is usually aimed at getting other people to do something; a drive may be an attempt by people to get themselves to do something:From today, we’re going on an economy drive(= we must spend less). A campaign may be larger, more formal and more organized than a drive.war [sing.] an effort over a long period of time to get rid of or stop something bad:the war against crimefight [sing.] the work of trying to stop or prevent something bad or achieve something good; an act of competing, especially in a sport:Workers won their fight to stop compulsory redundancies.war or fight? A war is about stopping things, like drugs and crime, that everyone agrees are bad. A fight can be about achieving justice for yourself. Patterns a campaign/​battle/​struggle/​drive/​war/​fight against something a campaign/​battle/​struggle/​drive/​fight for something a one-man/​one-woman/​personal campaign/​battle/​struggle/​war a bitter campaign/​battle/​struggle/​drive/​war/​fight to launch/​embark on a campaign/​battle/​drive to lead/​continue the campaign/​battle/​struggle/​drive/​fight to win/​lose a battle/​struggle/​war/​fight
  2. 2  [countable] a physical fight between two people or groups of people, especially when one of them is trying to escape, or to get something from the other There were no signs of a struggle at the murder scene. After a short struggle, I managed to get the knife away from him. Synonymsfightclash brawl struggle scuffleThese are all words for a situation in which people try to defeat each other using physical force.fight a situation in which two or more people try to defeat each other using physical force:He got into a fight with a man in the bar.clash (journalism) a short fight between two groups of people:Clashes broke out between police and demonstrators.brawl a noisy and violent fight involving a group of people, usually in a public place:a drunken brawl in a barstruggle a fight between two people or groups of people, especially when one of them is trying to escape, or to get something from the other:There were no signs of a struggle at the murder scene.scuffle a short and not very violent fight or struggle:He was involved in a scuffle with a photographer.Patterns a fight/​clash/​brawl/​struggle/​scuffle over something in a fight/​brawl/​struggle/​scuffle a violent fight/​clash/​struggle to be in/​get into/​be involved in a fight/​clash/​brawl/​scuffle a fight/​clash/​brawl/​scuffle breaks out
  3. 3  [singular] struggle (to do something) something that is difficult for you to do or achieve synonym effort It was a real struggle to be ready on time. They face an uphill struggle to get to the finals of the competition.
  4. Word Originlate Middle English: frequentative, perhaps of imitative origin. The noun dates from the late 17th cent.Extra examples After 150 years of struggle against colonial rule, the country won its independence. He was involved in a struggle with the police. I’ve given up the struggle to keep my house clean. If someone snatched your bag, would you put up a struggle? It was a bit of a struggle for me to get there so early. It will be an uphill struggle to maintain exports at the current level. Marx wrote about the class struggle. One of the guards was hurt in the struggle. She won’t give up without a struggle. The UN supported what it saw as the just struggle of an oppressed people. The author illustrates the inner struggles of this complicated woman. The group supported the armed struggle against the dictator. The party is locked in an internal struggle. The police said that there was no sign of a struggle by the murder victim. There were the sounds of a desperate struggle. They took up the struggle against racism. We had a real struggle to get everything into the suitcase. a struggle over the property species engaged in a life-or-death struggle with the environment the daily struggle for survival the long struggle for democracy the struggle against fascism He was a major player in the struggle for independence. The teams are locked in a struggle for this year’s title. the battle/​struggle between good and evil/​man and nature
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: struggle