Meaning of CONFLICT in English


I. con ‧ flict 1 S3 W2 AC /ˈkɒnflɪkt $ ˈkɑːn-/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ conflict ; noun : ↑ conflict ; adjective : conflicting]

[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: conflictus , from the past participle of confligere 'to strike together' , from com- ( ⇨ COM- ) + fligere 'to strike' ]

1 . [uncountable and countable] a state of disagreement or argument between people, groups, countries etc

conflict over

conflicts over wage settlements

conflict between

the conflict between tradition and innovation

in conflict (with somebody)

normal kids who are in conflict with their parents

political/social/industrial conflict

social and political conflict in the 1930s

the threat of industrial conflict in the coalfields

Marx points out the potential conflicts below the surface of society.

His views on the literal truth of the Bible brought him into conflict with other Christian leaders.

Doctors exercise considerable power and often come into conflict with politicians.

a lawyer specializing in conflict resolution

2 . [uncountable and countable] fighting or a war

armed/military/violent conflict

For years the region has been torn apart by armed conflicts.

UN troops intervened to avert a threat of violent conflict.

efforts to resolve the conflict

3 . [uncountable and countable] a situation in which you have to choose between two or more opposite needs, influences etc:

As women increasingly went out to work, the possibility of a conflict of loyalties became stronger.

conflict between

a conflict between the demands of one’s work and one’s family

in conflict (with something)

The principles of democracy are sometimes in conflict with political reality.

4 . [uncountable and countable] a situation in which you have two opposite feelings about something:

a state of inner conflict

5 . [countable] American English something that you have to do at the same time that someone wants you to do something else:

I’ve got a conflict on Friday. Can we make it Monday?

6 . conflict of interest/interests

a) a situation in which you cannot do your job fairly because you will be affected by the decision you make:

There is a growing conflict of interest between her position as a politician and her business activities.

b) a situation in which different people want different things

• • •


■ verbs

▪ come into conflict with somebody

Local people have often come into conflict with planning officials.

▪ bring somebody into conflict with somebody

Some of her actions have brought her into conflict with her managers.

▪ cause/create/provoke conflict

Sometimes very small disagreements can cause conflict within a family.

▪ resolve a conflict

You may need a lawyer to resolve a serious conflict between neighbours.

▪ avoid conflict

The Prime Minister wants to avoid a conflict over the issue.

■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + conflict

▪ political/social conflict

Widespread unemployment often leads to social conflict.

▪ industrial conflict (=between workers and their employers)

The industrial conflict resulted in a series of strikes.

▪ ethnic/racial conflict (=between people of different races)

The ethnic conflict in the region has become violent.

▪ family conflict

There are various techniques you can use to try and avoid family conflict.

▪ bitter conflict (=very angry)

The new law provoked bitter conflict.

■ phrases

▪ a source of conflict

Lack of money is often a source of conflict between spouses.

▪ an area of conflict (=a subject or matter that causes conflict)

There may be many areas of conflict between parents and teenagers.

▪ conflict resolution (=finding a way to end a conflict)

The children are learning methods of conflict resolution to use on the playground.

• • •


▪ war noun [uncountable and countable] a situation in which there is fighting between countries or opposing groups within a country, with large numbers of soldiers and weapons:

He fought in World War II.


the horrors of war

▪ conflict noun [uncountable and countable] a situation in which there is fighting or a war – used especially in news reports:

the conflict in the Middle East


There is increasing danger of armed conflict.

▪ fighting noun [uncountable] a situation in which people or groups fight each other and try to kill each other:

The fighting went on for months.


Fighting in the north has resulted in hundreds of deaths.

▪ hostilities noun [plural] formal fighting in a war:

The agreement called on the guerrillas to cease hostilities (=stop fighting) and begin peace talks.

▪ warfare noun [uncountable] the activity of fighting in a war – used especially to talk about a method of fighting:

new and more advanced methods of warfare


chemical warfare

▪ battle noun [uncountable and countable] an occasion when two armies, groups of ships etc fight each other in one place during a war:

the great naval battles of the Napoleonic Wars


the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805


He died in battle.

▪ skirmish /ˈskɜːmɪʃ $ ˈskɜːr-/ noun [countable] a short fight between small groups of soldiers, ships etc, especially one that happens away from the main part of a war or battle:

There were minor skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani troops across the border.

▪ combat noun [uncountable] the act of fighting, especially during a war:

Few of them had any experience of combat.


hand-to-hand combat

▪ action noun [uncountable] military actions carried out by the army, navy etc of a country during a war – used especially in the following phrases:

He was killed in action in 1944.


Her son went missing in action.


Her grandfather saw action (=fought) in two world wars.

II. con ‧ flict 2 AC /kənˈflɪkt/ BrE AmE verb [intransitive]

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ conflict ; noun : ↑ conflict ; adjective : conflicting]

if two ideas, beliefs, opinions etc conflict, they cannot exist together or both be true

conflict with

new evidence which conflicts with previous findings

conflicting opinions/demands/interests etc

I had been given a great deal of conflicting advice.

There are conflicting views about what caused the accident.

• • •


■ nouns

▪ conflicting views/opinions/ideas

There are conflicting opinions on what causes the disease.

▪ conflicting interests (=different things that people, countries etc want or think are important)

The two groups have conflicting interests.

▪ conflicting emotions

I left home with conflicting emotions of sadness and excitement.

▪ conflicting demands (=things that demand your attention)

the conflicting demands of work and family life

▪ conflicting evidence

The witnesses at the trial gave conflicting evidence.

▪ conflicting results

Scientific tests have produced conflicting results.

▪ conflicting information

There’s a lot of conflicting information about what is best for you to eat.

▪ conflicting advice

I’ve seen two doctors and been given conflicting advice.

▪ conflicting reports/accounts

When questioned, the boys gave conflicting accounts of what they were doing that night.

▪ conflicting theories

There are conflicting theories about the origin of the universe.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.