Etymology
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threat (n.)
Old English þreat "crowd, troop," also "oppression, coercion, menace," related to þreotan "to trouble, weary," from Proto-Germanic *thrautam (source also of Dutch verdrieten, German verdrießen "to vex"), from PIE *treud- "to push, press squeeze" (source also of Latin trudere "to press, thrust," Old Church Slavonic trudu "oppression," Middle Irish trott "quarrel, conflict," Middle Welsh cythrud "torture, torment, afflict"). Sense of "conditional declaration of hostile intention" was in Old English.
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match (v.)

mid-14c., macchen, "be able to compete with, be an adequate opponent for;" late 14c., "to join one to another" (originally especially in marriage), from match (n.2). Meaning "to place (one) in conflict with (another)" is from c. 1400. That of "to pair with a view to fitness, find or provide something to agree or harmonize with" is from 1520s; that of "to be equal to" is from 1590s. Related: Matched; matching.

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fit (n.2)
"paroxysm, sudden attack" (as of anger), 1540s, probably via Middle English sense of "painful, exciting experience" (early 14c.), from Old English fitt "conflict, struggle," which is of uncertain origin, with no clear cognates outside English. Perhaps ultimately cognate with fit (adj.) on notion of "to meet." Meaning "sudden impulse toward activity or effort" is from 1580s. Phrase by fits and starts first attested 1610s (by fits is from 1580s).
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guerrilla (n.)
"fighter in an irregular, independent armed force," 1809, from Spanish guerrilla "body of skirmishers, skirmishing warfare," literally "little war," diminutive of guerra "war," from a Germanic source cognate with Old High German werra "strife, conflict, war," from Proto-Germanic *werra- (see war (n.)). Acquired by English during the Peninsular War (1808-1814), when bands of Spanish peasants and shepherds annoyed the occupying French. Purists failed in their attempt to keep this word restricted to "irregular warfare" and prevent it taking on the sense properly belonging to guerrillero "guerrilla fighter." Figurative use by 1861. As an adjective from 1811.
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ambidextrous (adj.)

also ambidexterous, "able to use both hands equally," 1640s, with -ous + Medieval Latin ambidexter, literally "right-handed on both sides," from ambi- "both, on both sides" (see ambi-) + dexter "right-handed" (from PIE root *deks- "right; south"). An earlier English use of ambidexter (adj.) meant "double-dealer, one who takes both sides in a conflict" (late 14c.).

Its opposite, ambilevous "left-handed on both sides," hence "clumsy" (1640s) is rare. Ambidexter as a noun is attested from 1530s (in the sense "one who takes bribes from both sides") and is the earliest form of the word in English; its sense of "one who uses both hands equally well" appears by 1590s.

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syndicalism (n.)

1907, from French syndicalisme "movement to transfer ownership of means of production and distribution to industrial workers," from syndical "of a labor union," from syndic "chief representative" (see syndic).

"Syndicalism" is in France the new, all-absorbing form of Labor's conflict with Capital. Its growth has been so rapid that its gravity is not appreciated abroad. This year, even more than last, the strikes and other "direct action," which it has combined, have upset the industrial life of the country, and forced the attention of Parliament and Government. [The Nation, June 20, 1907]
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neutral (adj.)

1540s, in alchemy, "composed of contrasting elements which, in proper proportion, neutralize each other," also, of states, rulers, etc., "refraining from taking sides in a fight, not engaged on or interfering with either side" (probably from a similar meaning of neutralis in Medieval Latin), from Latin neutralis, from neuter "neither the one nor the other, neither of two" (see neuter (adj.)).

By 1550s of persons. Chemistry sense of "exhibiting neither acid nor alkaline qualities" is from 1660s. From 1711 in the sense of "of or belonging to a power not taking sides in a war or conflict." Of colors, "of low chroma, without positive quality of color," from 1821. Neutral corner is from boxing (1908), indicating the two corners of the ring not used between rounds by the fighters and their seconds.

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ado (n.)
late 14c., "conflict, fighting; difficulty, trouble," a contraction of at do, literally "to do," a dialectal northern English formation in the Norse-influenced areas of England, as some Scandinavian languages used at with the infinitive of a verb where Modern English uses to. From use of the infinitive in much ado ("much to do") and similar phrases, ado came to be regarded as a noun. Compare the sense evolution in to-do and affair (from French infinitive phrase à faire "to do"). The weakened meaning "fuss" is from early 15c. Also used in Middle English for "dealings, traffic," and "sexual intercourse" (both c. 1400).
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plea (n.)

early 13c., ple, "lawsuit, legal conflict," also "strife, contention, complaint," from Anglo-French plai (late 12c.), Old French plait "lawsuit, decision, decree" (9c.), from Medieval Latin placitum, plactum "lawsuit," in classical Latin, "opinion, decree," literally "that which pleases, thing which is agreed upon," properly neuter past participle of placere "to please, give pleasure, be approved" (see please).

The sense development seems to have been from "something pleasant," to "something that pleases both sides," to "something that has been decided." Meaning "an entreaty, a pleading, an argument in a suit" is attested from late 14c. Plea-bargaining is attested by 1963. Common pleas (early 13c.) originally were legal proceedings over which the Crown did not claim exclusive jurisdiction (as distinct from pleas of the Crown "public prosecution in criminal cases"); later "actions brought by one subject against another."

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irrepressible (adj.)

"not able to be controlled or restrained," 1763, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + repress (v.) + -ible.

Increase of population, which is filling the States out to their very borders, together with a new and extended network of railroads and other avenues, and an internal commerce which daily becomes more intimate, is rapidly bringing the States into a higher and more perfect social unity or consolidation. Thus, these antagonistic systems are continually coming into closer contact, and collision results.
Shall I tell you what this collision means? They who think that it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators, and therefor ephemeral, mistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation. [William H. Seward, speech at Rochester, N.Y., Oct. 2, 1858]

Related: Irrepressibly. "Common Sense" (1777) has unrepressible.

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