Etymology
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struggle (v.)

late 14c., of uncertain origin, probably a frequentative form with -el (3) (compare trample, wrestle), but the first element is of uncertain origin. Skeat suggests Old Norse strugr "ill will;" others suggest a connection to Dutch struikelen, German straucheln "to stumble." Related: Struggled; struggling.

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-el (3)

derivational suffix, also -le, used mostly with verbs but originally also with nouns, "often denoting diminutive, repetitive, or intensive actions or events" [The Middle English Compendium], from Old English. Compare brastlian alongside berstan (see burst); nestlian (see nestle) alongside nistan). It is likely also in wrestle, trample, draggle, struggle, twinkle, also noddle "to make frequent nods" (1733). New formations in Middle English might be native formations (jostle from joust) with this or borrowings from Dutch.

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Kulturkampf (n.)

1879, originally in reference to the struggle (1872-86) between the German government and the Catholic Church over control of educational and ecclesiastical appointments, German, literally "struggle for culture," from Kultur + Kampf "combat, fight, struggle," from Old High German kampf (8c.), from Latin campus "field, battlefield" (see campus).

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antagonize (v.)

1630s, "to compete with" (obsolete); 1742, "act in opposition to, struggle against continuously," from Greek antagonizesthai "to struggle against, oppose, be a rival," from anti "against" (see anti-) + agonizesthai "to contend for a prize," from agon "a struggle, a contest" (see agony). The meaning "make antagonistic" is by 1882. Related: Antagonized; antagonizing; antagonization.

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scuffle (v.)

"to push or fight in a disorderly manner, struggle confusedly at close quarters," 1570s (transitive), 1580s (intransitive), probably a frequentative form of scuff (v.), but OED is against this; perhaps ultimately of Scandinavian origin. Related: Scuffled; scuffling. As a noun, "a confused pushing or struggle," c. 1600, from the verb.

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ineluctable (adj.)

"not to be escaped by struggling," 1620s, from French inéluctable (15c.) or directly from Latin ineluctabilis "unavoidable, inevitable," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + eluctabilis "that may be escaped from," from eluctari "to struggle out of," from ex "out, out of" (see ex-) + luctari "to struggle" (see reluctance).

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tussle (n.)

"a struggle, conflict, scuffle," 1620s (but rare before 19c.), from tussle (v.).

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reluctant (adj.)

"unwilling, struggling against duty or a command," 1660s, from Latin reluctantem (nominative reluctans), present participle of reluctari "to struggle against, resist, make opposition," from re- "against" (see re-) + luctari "to struggle, wrestle" (see reluctance). Related: Reluctantly. The Latin word also is the source of Spanish reluchante, Italian riluttante.

Reluctant, literally, struggling back from, implies some degree of struggle either with others who are inciting us on, or between our own inclination and some strong motive, as sense of duty, whether it operates as an impelling or as a restraining influence. [Century Dictionary]
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agonize (v.)

1580s, "to torture" (trans.), from French agoniser (14c.) or directly from Medieval Latin agonizare "to labor, strive, contend," also "be at the point of death," from Greek agōnizesthai "contend in the struggle, contend for victory or a prize" (in reference to physical combat, stage competitions, lawsuits), from agōnia "a struggle for victory," originally "a struggle for victory in the games" (see agony). The intransitive sense of "suffer extreme physical pain" is recorded from 1660s; the mental sense of "to worry intensely" is from 1853. Related: Agonized; agonizing.

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