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1. A state of open, often prolonged fighting; a battle or war.
2. A state of disagreement or disharmony between persons or ideas; a clash: a conflict over water rights.
3. Psychology An emotional or mental disturbance resulting from the opposition or simultaneous functioning of mutually exclusive impulses, desires, or tendencies.
4. Opposition between characters or forces in a work of drama or fiction, especially when motivating or shaping the action of the plot.
intr.v. (kən-flĭkt′) con·flict·ed, con·flict·ing, con·flicts
1. To be in or come into opposition; differ.
2. Archaic To engage in warfare.

[Middle English, from Latin cōnflīctus, collision, from past participle of cōnflīgere, to strike together : com-, com- + flīgere, to strike.]

con·flic′tion n.
con·flic′tive adj.
con·flic′tu·al (kən-flĭk′cho͞o-əl) adj.
Synonyms: conflict, discord, strife, contention, dissension, clash
These nouns refer to a state of disagreement and disharmony. Conflict has the broadest application: a conflict of interests; a conflict between the demands of work and family.
Discord is a lack of harmony often marked by bickering and antipathy: The summit was marred by discord among the leaders.
Strife usually implies an open struggle, often destructive, between rivals or factions: "Your eye is then drawn to the scene below, down to the valley below, where everywhere are the ravages of famine, the drumbeat of war, a world groaning under strife and deprivation" (Barack Obama).
Contention suggests a dispute in the form of heated debate or quarreling: During the debate, we expect lively contention among the candidates.
Dissension implies difference of opinion that disrupts unity within a group: "Dissension had been brewing between the North and South long before the first shots were fired on Fort Sumter" (Ted Yanak & Pam Cornelison).
Clash involves irreconcilable ideas or interests: a clash between tradition and modernity; a clash of egos.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Joint custody of children and adolescents has consequences on their health as children, but the conflictive relationships between the father and the mother have negative repercussions on the emotional, social, cognitive and academic development of the children.
Conceived "at its core as a cultural studies reader" (6), the volume maps how the various meanings of conflict play out in Colombia's physical and symbolic terrains, paying special attention to how the--ever-elusive, yet seemingly omnipresent--category of colombianidad is itself a contested and conflictive space.
What emerges is the description of an urban space actively shaped by the often conflictive interaction of policymakers' and residents' visions of the neighbourhood.
Milan Maric play the protagonist, who navigates between his family problems with his ex-wife and his daughter, and with his conflictive rebellion against the strict guidelines set down by the Soviet State, in a film that shares the irony of the novelist's texts.
The abilities to be quiet and listen, to seek consensus, and to place oneself in another's shoes are more closely associated with femininity, while making quick decisions, finishing a task, and functioning in conflictive environments tend to be more masculine.
Being grounded on solid facts is particularly important in conflictive times such as the ones we are living in now.
It reflects his conflictive state of mind and the incessant urge to provoke people and institutions critical of his policies to deflect his shortcomings,' Villarin said in a statement.
On the one hand, consumption of ambiguous or conflictive messages on social media increases consumer uncertainty, and uncertainty makes it difficult to store long-term brand associations in his/her mind.
It focuses on her workAEs ability to depict contested histories and historical struggle and to produce conflictive subject and cultural positions, which create an understanding of history as a turbulent process, as she uses oppositional tactics and methods for social justice, modeling a public art of contestation.
There is a positive as well as a conflictive, dialectical relationship between power and social change.
(2016), statements that favor the people will be referred to as advocative populist communication, and statements that discredit an out-group will be referred to as conflictive populist communication.