Alternative forms 
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 *strūkōnan, *strūkēnan (“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”).
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struggle (plural struggles)
- 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.
- 2011 October 1, Tom Fordyce, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 16-12 Scotland”, BBC Sport:
- England were ponderous with ball in hand, their runners static when taking the ball and their lines obvious, while their front row struggled badly in the scrum.
Usage notes