To strive is to endeavor, reach, or strain for something above or beyond. We strive for self-improvement, a better world, or success in general.

The Old French origin of this word, estriver ("quarrel," "dispute"), had its 800th birthday not too long ago. Though it shares its roots with strife ("conflict"), it changed over the years (centuries, actually) to describe something more like a conflict with oneself, the attempt to overcome limitations and stay focused on a goal, regardless of whatever quarrels or disputes come up.

Definitions of strive

v attempt by employing effort

endeavor, endeavour
to exert strenuous effort against opposition
be at pains, take pains
try very hard to do something
to strive with determination
Type of:
assay, attempt, essay, seek, try
make an effort or attempt

v exert much effort or energy

reach, strain
extend oneself
strain to the utmost
kill oneself, overexert oneself
strain oneself more than is healthy
bother, inconvenience oneself, trouble, trouble oneself
take the trouble to do something; concern oneself
Type of:
drive, labor, labour, push, tug
strive and make an effort to reach a goal

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.