struggle with

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.
See also: struggle
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.
See also: struggle

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.
See also: struggle
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
Two canine animals in a time of dearth, may be truly said to struggle with each other which shall get food and live.
This is often the case with those which may strictly be said to struggle with each other for existence, as in the case of locusts and grass-feeding quadrupeds.
And again in a futile struggle with reality her mother, refusing to believe that she could live when her beloved boy was killed in the bloom of life, escaped from reality into a world of delirium.
With its birth begins its struggle with the bourgeoisie.
In Grace Abounding Bunyan tells of his own struggle with evil, and it is from that book that we learn much of what we know of his life.
Passepartout and his companions had begun to struggle with their captors, three of whom the Frenchman had felled with his fists, when his master and the soldiers hastened up to their relief.
And I remember the fleeting bitterness that was mine as I realised that I was in a struggle with death, and that these others did not know.
The Abraham Lincoln, not being able to struggle with such velocity, had moderated its pace, and sailed at half speed.
The singer explains her agony and struggle through acts in the video clip, eventually exposing how she overcame the struggle with breast cancer through the support of her family, friends and loved ones.
This 26-item measure assesses six domains pertaining to the subjective experience of religious and spiritual struggles: struggle with God, struggle with religious others, the demonic, moral issues, doubt, and ultimate meaning.
spiritual struggle with larger political and social movements in which
A timeless novel, Persian Dreams by author and poet Maryam Tabibzadeh is the superbly crafted and engaging story of three people whose lives and struggles propel them through one hundred years of history in a country of everlasting poverty, continuous political struggle, and the destructiveness of war, Persian Dreams follows the diverse character setup of Talah, a woman striving for survival after the loss of her second husband, Baback, Talah's first son whose struggle with faith and religion becomes his greatest in the midst of a growing love affair, and Baback's daughter Nosha who relentlessly aims to escape the second-class citizenship forced onto the women of her country.
Her delivery should prove helpful in drawing listeners to this family story, especially those assigned to read it as a Newbery Award winner who may struggle with this sad, quiet tale in book form.
One has to be stunned by the utter dearth of writings and active public concern by Hauerwas (and the overwhelming majority of White theologians) regarding the American and Christian struggle with the scourge of anti-Black White racism.
Towards the end of the film a salvo of documentary footage of the Lebanese crisis dominates the screen, but this time not as "civil war" but as manifestation of the region's struggle with competing regional and colonial interests.