external conflict

[ ek-stur-nl kon-flikt ]

  1. struggle between a literary or dramatic character and an outside force such as nature or another character, which drives the dramatic action of the plot: external conflict between Macbeth and Macduff.

  2. struggle between a person and an outside force: external conflict between parents and children.

Compare Meanings

Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.

Origin of external conflict

First recorded in1765–75

Words Nearby external conflict

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use external conflict in a sentence