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  • IPA(key): /ˈstɹaɪv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪv

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English striven (to strive), from Old French estriver (to compete, quarrel), from Frankish *strīban (to exert, make an effort) from Proto-Germanic *strībaną, or from Frankish *stribēn (to strive) from Proto-Germanic *stribāną.


strive (third-person singular simple present strives, present participle striving, simple past strove or strived, past participle striven or strived or (nonstandard, colloquial) strove)

  1. To try to achieve a result; to make strenuous effort; to try earnestly and persistently.
    He strove to excel.
    We strive for the truth.
    • 1946 May and June, J. Alan Rannie, “The Midland of 35 Years Ago”, in Railway Magazine, page 200:
      Though the writer has striven to dwell on aspects that have passed, or are passing away, it will be apparent that many features of Midland practice have been adopted as standard for the L.M.S.R. and other railways.
    • 2021 January 13, Christian Wolmar, “Read all about London's Cathedrals of Steam”, in RAIL, number 922, page 62:
      Moreover, on several occasions, terminus stations such as Nine Elms, Bishop's Bridge, Maiden Lane and Bishopgate were built rather further away from the centre of London, only to be dispensed with as the various railway companies strove to get as near as possible to the lucrative markets of the City and the West End.
  2. To struggle in opposition; to be in contention or dispute; to contend; to contest.
    to strive against fate
    • 1641, John Denham, On the Earl of Strafford's Tryal and Death:
      Now private pity strove with public hate,
      Reason with rage, and eloquence with fate.
  3. To vie; to compete as a rival.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book IV”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC:
      [Not] that sweet grove
      Of Daphne, by Orontes and the inspired
      Castalian spring, might with this paradise
      Of Eden strive.
Usage notes[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]


strive (plural strives)

  1. (obsolete) Alternative form of strife

Further reading[edit]