Struggle Synonym: Effective Guide — Definition & Examples

‘Struggle’ is the act of contention, generally with difficulty and against the opposition, to do or achieve something. To create a unique and compelling piece, incorporate the usage of synonyms in your writing – using a term repeatedly will make your writing dull. Struggle synonym and antonyms are discussed in this article; read on!

Definition of Struggle

‘Struggle’ originates from the Middle English derivative “struglen,” “stroglen” and “strogelen.” The term struggle functions grammatically as a noun and verb in sentences. When used as a noun, struggle means strife, contention, and great effort. The plural of the term is ‘struggles.’

Examples of “Struggle” in Sentences

  • It was a struggle to make an interesting case for protecting the house.
  • The struggles of life are almost unending; with perseverance, you’ll come out victorious.
  • A little struggle is required to reach the pinnacle of success that you treasure.

As a verb, struggle means to labor in difficulty, to fight, strive or contend with, in an attempt to succeed. They had to struggle against all kinds of opposition. The term takes the following verb forms: simple present – struggles, present participle – struggling, simple past, and past participle – struggled.

  • It hurt to watch John struggle this way.
  • I had to struggle within myself to keep mute.
  • Martha struggled through every phase of life until she passed.
  • Putting the child to sleep was a struggle.

Struggle Synonym — Exploring Words with Similar Meanings

Synonyms for the word struggle are tussle, strife, battle, labor, contest, and conflict. Other words related to the term include trouble, brawl, oppose, scuffle, and fight.

1. Strife

‘Strife’ originates from Anglo-Saxon ‘straefe’. The literal meaning is ’a state of danger, disturbance, or war between people, tribes, or countries’.

  • The reign of King Xerxes ended the strife between the ancient Iranian kingdoms.
  • Early years of the Ottoman Empire were years of strife.
  • The Ten-Year War brought about strife in Europe.

2. Battle

‘Battle’ is from the Old French word bataille based on late Latin battualia ‘military or gladiatorial exercises,’ and from Latin battuere ‘to beat.’ The dictionary meaning of ‘battle’ is – a contest or struggle.

  • It was a battle trying to convince John otherwise.
  • A battle ensued over rival claims to the throne.

3. Labor

‘Labor’ is from the Latin verb “laborare,” which is derived from the word “labe,” (“to carry, to bear”). Labor is a more direct way to describe “toil” or “toil and trouble.”

  • I could never imagine doing this kind of hard labor for a living.
  • I will have to do a lot of physical labor to prepare for this journey.

4. Contest

Contest’ originates from Latin’ contestatio’ “a calling to witness,” from ‘contestare’ “to bear witness.” ‘Contest’ describes an activity between two persons where one is trying to acquire something from the other, using force.

  • No matter how hard they tried, the duo could never win a beauty contest.
  • David could not contest my decision to remain celibate.

5. Tussle

‘Tussle’ originates from Middle English’ touselen’, equivalent to touse +‎ -le (to struggle), ultimately from Proto-Germanic’*taujaną’ meaning to push, to try to move something. Tussle can be used to describe an act of putting something in disorder, a struggle, or a fight.

  • Juan had a tussle with her abductors.
  • Obadiah has a tussle with the man wearing the red turban.

Antonyms for Struggle — Exploring Words with Opposite Meanings

1. Agreement

The word ‘agreement’ comes from Latin’ ā-ag-ē-mentum’ (noun) or ‘ā-ag-ēns’ (verb), meaning “to gather together, reconcile, or compose.” It relates to support, collaboration, and harmony, a state where entities share a similar view or opinion.

  • They nodded in agreement, indicating I continue with the lectures.
  • My supervisor was in agreement with the topic I chose for my research.

2. Accord

The origin of ‘accord’ can be traced to the Latin verb ‘accord’ (“join”) and the present participle ‘accorded’ (e.g. “joined the covenant”). Accord connotes an agreement or concurrence between two opposing parties willing to work together.

  • The written laws are in accord with his views.
  • Frenchmen successfully made a treaty of accord with the United States.
  • The law demands they walk in one accord.

3. Concur

The word ‘concur’ is borrowed from Latin concurro (“to run together, agree”). Its meaning is opposite to ‘struggle.’ To concur is to agree to or follow another person’s opinion.

  • The best way to avoid an argument is to concur with the suggestion.
  • It is challenging to find someone who will concur with your statement.
green trust your struggle graffiti on black background with painting beside it
Photo by DJ Johnson on Unsplash

To Wrap Up

‘Struggle’ is an English word with powerful synonyms. A common struggle synonym is ‘tussle.’ Others include strife, battle, labor, and contest. The context in which these words can be used may vary.

Some antonyms for struggle include agreement, accord, and concur. For diversity in writing, employ synonyms – those highlighted in this article are excellent to start with! You can find others in a thesaurus.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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