- Struggle is defined as to do something with difficulty.
An example of struggle is carrying a heavy load uphill for a long distance.
intransitive verbstruggled, struggling
- to contend or fight violently with an opponent
- to make great efforts or attempts; strive; labor
- to make one's way with difficulty: to struggle through a thicket
Origin of struggleMiddle English strogelen ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps
- to bring, put, do, etc. by struggling
- to make (one's way) with difficulty
- great effort or a series of efforts; violent exertion
- conflict; strife; contention
verbstrug·gled, strug·gling, strug·gles
- 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.
- To contend or compete: “Right and wrong &ellipsis; will ever continue to struggle” (Abraham Lincoln).
- The act of struggling: the rat's struggle to escape the snake's coils.
- A strenuous effort in the face of difficulty: the struggle for civil rights.
- Strife, contention, or combat: armed struggle.
- Something that is difficult to do or achieve: Getting him to agree will be a struggle.
Origin of struggleMiddle English struglen.
(third-person singular simple present struggles, present participle struggling, simple past and past participle struggled)
- To strive, to labour in difficulty, to fight (for or against), to contend.
- During the centuries, the people of Ireland struggled constantly to assert their right to govern themselves.
- To strive, or to make efforts, with a twisting, or with contortions of the body.
- She struggled to escape from her assailant's grasp.
- This is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive.
From Middle English struglen, stroglen, strogelen, of obscure origin. Cognate with Scots strugil (“to struggle, grapple, contend”). Perhaps from a variant of *strokelen, *stroukelen (> English stroll), from Middle Dutch struyckelen ("to stumble, trip, falter"; > Modern Dutch struikelen), the frequentative form of Old Dutch *strūkon (“to stumble”), from Proto-Germanic *strūkōną, *strūkēną (“to be stiff”), from Proto-Indo-European *strug-, *ster- (“to be stiff; to bristle, strut, stumble, fall”), related to Middle Low German strûkelen ("to stumble"; > Low German strükeln), Old High German strūhhēn, strūhhōn ("to stumble, trip, tumble, go astray"; > Modern German strauchen, straucheln).
Alternative etymology derives the base of struggle from Old Norse strúgr (“arrogance, pride, spitefulness, ill-will”), from Proto-Germanic *strūkaz (“stiff, rigid”), ultimately from the same Proto-Indo-European root above, which would make it cognate with Swedish dialectal strug (“contention, strife, discord”), Norwegian stru (“obstinate, unruly”), Danish struende (“reluctantly”), Scots strug (“difficulty, perplexity, a laborious task”).