Strive Synonym Guide — Definition, Antonyms & Examples

The word ‘strive’ signifies the quality of making great efforts to achieve something. A synonym for strive is the word ‘struggle.’ The term possesses various synonyms and antonyms. Learn about these synonyms and their meanings quickly with this concise guide.

Strive—Etymology and Definition of the Word

‘Strive’ is a verb which originates from Old French estriver (“to compete, quarrel”) and Frankish *strīban (“to exert”). The word takes the following forms: simple present – strives, present participle – striving, simple past – strove or strived, and past participle – striven or strived.

Strive means “to try to achieve a result; to make strenuous trial; to struggle earnestly and persistently.” i.e., Jerry and Martha strive to excel. It also means “to struggle in opposition; to contend, dispute or contest.” i.e., Thompson decided to strive against the violation of his rights.

Sentence Examples

  • June and James had to strive to keep their family together.
  • Her only child strives to make her happy by all means.
  • We should strive to maintain peace and harmony in this world.
  • Please strive to make every day joyful and meaningful, not for others but myself.
  • It’s better to strive for what you want and not get it than not to try at all.
  • Many individuals strive to maintain a positive outlook.
  • The Director told us to continue to strive for greater efficiency.
  • Martha’s desire to strive is commendable.

Synonym for Strive — Exploring words with Similar Meanings

The dictionary defines strive as “making great efforts to achieve or obtain something.” Synonyms for the word ‘strive’ include aim, aspire, endeavor, struggle, strain, labor, and toil. Other terms related to ‘strive’ include, compete, seek, and sweat.

1. Try

The term is from Middle English trien, Anglo-Norman trier, Old French trier (“to choose, pick out or separate from others”), and Italian tritare (“to grind; to sort; to analyze”). Try means “to struggle to achieve something.”

  • I try to stay sane on bad days like this.
  • Please try to conduct the Physics experiment yourself.

2. Attempt

The term originates from Old French atempter. It means to make an effort to do something.

  • The prisoners made an attempt to escape, but the security men were on guard.
  • The police made an attempt to rescue the captives.

3. Aim

The word ‘aim’ – “to have the intention of achieving something” – can be traced to Old French esmer, aesmer, and Latin ad- + aestimare (“to estimate”). Aim means “to have an intention to do or achieve something.”

  • My greatest aim in life is to be free from debts.
  • Jason’s aim at getting straight A’s in his Cambridge examination was unrealistic.

4. Aspire

Aspire’ is from Old French aspirer, and Latin aspirare (“to desire”). To aspire is to seek to accomplish a goal.

  • Jackson aspires to become a successful optometrist.
  • We aspire to make the organization well-known and popular.

5. Endeavor

Endeavor derives its origin from Middle English endeveren (“to make an effort”). Endeavor signifies an effort made to achieve something.

  • Please endeavor to submit your research work before the deadline.
  • I endeavor to do my carry out my job with diligence.

Antonyms for Strive — Exploring Words with Opposite Meanings

1. Discontinue

The word ‘discontinue’ is from Old French descontinuer. Discontinue means to stop doing something you used to do.

  • The builders planned to discontinue the project because they hadn’t received payment.
  • We still don’t know why Helen decided to discontinue her studies.

2. Retreat

Retreat is from Old French retrait or retret, and Latin retractus. Retreat means to “move back or withdraw from an action.”

  • Stephen felt the urge to retreat to his hostel until the whole issue was settled.
  • The doctor wanted to save the man’s life but beat a quick retreat when he heard that the man had killed two people.
  • We received an order to retreat, so our hard work went for nothing.

3. Ignore

‘Ignore’ originates from French ignorer, and Latin ignōrō (“to not know, mistake, take no notice of”). To ignore means to pretend not to notice someone or something.

  • Mary tried to ignore the persistent young man, but he wouldn’t let her be.
  • The drunk man ignored the traffic warning signs and ended up in a valley.
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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

To Wrap Up

Strive means “to give one’s best shots toward a difficult undertaking.” A synonym for strive is ‘struggle.’ Other words with similar meanings are: endeavor, aspire, and aim.

Antonyms for ‘strive’ include “discontinue,” “ignore,” and “retreat.” A thesaurus is excellent if you need to learn more synonyms and antonyms for the term.

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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