v. strug·gled, strug·gling, strug·gles
1. To exert muscular energy, as against a material force or mass: struggled with the heavy load.
a. To be strenuously engaged with a problem, task, or undertaking: struggled for years before breaking through as an actor.
b. To have difficulty or make a strenuous effort doing something: struggled to be polite.
c. To move or progress with difficulty: struggled up the steep slope.
3. To contend or compete: "Right and wrong ... will ever continue to struggle" (Abraham Lincoln).
To move or place (something) with an effort: struggled the heavy desk into the elevator.
1. The act of struggling: the rat's struggle to escape the snake's coils.
2. A strenuous effort in the face of difficulty: the struggle for civil rights.
3. Strife, contention, or combat: armed struggle.
4. Something that is difficult to do or achieve: Getting him to agree will be a struggle.
[Middle English struglen.]
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.