(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.
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 *strÅ«kon (“to stumble"), from Proto-Germanic *strÅ«kÅnÄ…, *strÅ«kÄ“nÄ… (“to be stiff"), from Proto-Indo-European *strug-, *ster- (“to be stiff; to bristle, strut, stumble, fall"), related to Middle Low German strÃ»kelen ("to stumble"; > Low German strÃ¼keln), Old High German strÅ«hhÄ“n, strÅ«hhÅn ("to stumble, trip, tumble, go astray"; > Modern German strauchen, straucheln).
Alternative etymology derives the base of struggle from Old Norse strÃºgr (“arrogance, pride, spitefulness, ill-will"), from Proto-Germanic *strÅ«kaz (“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").