• synonyms


  1. vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism: to be at strife.
  2. a quarrel, struggle, or clash: armed strife.
  3. competition or rivalry: the strife of the marketplace.
  4. Archaic. strenuous effort.
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Origin of strife

1175–1225; Middle English strif < Old French estrif, akin to estriver to strive
Related formsstrife·ful, adjectivestrife·less, adjectiveun·der·strife, noun



1, 2. peace.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for strifeful

Historical Examples

  • Egil's sons were tall and strifeful; they were most unfair men.

    The story of Burnt Njal


  • Coming from the Chattan tribe I must hope the centuries since that strifeful day have brought reëxpansion to the Chattans.

  • These things being so, it is foolish to say that these victories and this strifeful gain are matters of merely racial application.

British Dictionary definitions for strifeful


  1. angry or violent struggle; conflict
  2. rivalry or contention, esp of a bitter kind
  3. Australian and NZ trouble or discord of any kindto get into strife
  4. archaic striving
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French estrif, probably from estriver to strive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for strifeful



early 13c., from Old French estrif, variant of estrit "quarrel, dispute, impetuosity," probably from Frankish *strid, from Proto-Germanic *strido- "strife, combat" (cf. Old High German strit "quarrel, dispute"), related to Old High German stritan "to fight;" see stride.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper