struggle with (someone or something)
1. To fight, battle, or contend strenuously against someone or something. The officer struggled with the burglar, but finally managed to subdue him. The bear struggled with the mountain lion to protects her cubs.
2. To have great difficulty moving or manipulating something. I could see my grandfather struggling with the door, so I went over and opened it for her. I always struggle with the top button of this shirt. It's just so hard to fasten! Bobby keeps struggling with his sister Janet for the television remote.
3. To have great difficulty doing, achieving, or completing something. Sarah really struggled with the decision, as she considered both applicants to be equally qualified. The quarterback has been struggling with his throws ever since his shoulder injury.
4. To have great difficulty understanding something. Tom is really struggling with his math class at the moment. I'm still struggling with this concept. Could you explain it to me again?
5. To be full of indecision, guilt, remorse, or some other negative emotion associated with some decision. You'll probably struggle with the consequences of some of your actions, but this business requires you to be ruthless sometimes. I have really struggled with my choice to leave my family behind and move to Australia, even though I know it is for the best.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
struggle with someone or something
to fight or battle with someone or something. Fred struggled with Tom for a while and finally gave in. Tom struggled with the disease for a while and finally succumbed to it.
struggle with someone (for something)
to fight with someone to obtain something. Max struggled with Lefty for the gun, and it went off. Timmy struggled with Bobby for the bicycle, and finally David took it away from both of them.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.