1. Heated, often violent conflict or disagreement. See Synonyms at conflict.
2. A conflict or quarrel: "His mind seemed older than theirs: it shone coldly on their strifes and happiness and regrets like a moon upon a younger earth" (James Joyce).
3. Contention or competition between rivals.
[Middle English strif, from Old French estrit, estrif, from Frankish *strīd.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.