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struggle - definition and synonyms

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verb [intransitive]     struggle pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlestruggling
past tensestruggled
past participlestruggled
  1. 1
    to try hard to do something that you find very difficult

    He struggled a bit at first, but he reads well now.

    struggle to do something:

    She was struggling to cope with the demands of her work.

    struggle with:

    They’ve had to struggle with the painful process of modernization.

    struggle for:

    Andy was coughing and struggling for breath.

  2. 2
    to use your strength to fight against someone or something

    She picked the child up, but he struggled and kicked.

    struggle for:

    They struggled for possession of the gun.

    1. a.
      to try very hard to move something or to move yourself somewhere
      struggle to do something:

      The sheep struggled to free itself.

      struggle with:

      Foster was struggling with the door in the wind.

    2. b.
      to manage with a lot of difficulty to move yourself somewhere
      struggle into/out of etc:

      She struggled into her tight jacket.

      struggle free:

      He struggled free and ran to his car to call for help.

  3. 3
    to try very hard to defeat someone or to stop them having power over you
    struggle to do something:

    We have to struggle to win our freedom.

    struggle for:

    Different factions in the movement are struggling for supremacy.

    struggle against:

    women struggling against oppression

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