Verb [no object]

1 : to try very hard to do, achieve, or deal with something that is difficult or that causes problems

He has been struggling with the problem of how to keep good workers from leaving.

They struggled for the right to vote.

She is struggling with her health.  [=she is having problems with her health]

They struggled against injustice.

I had to struggle against the impulse to laugh.  [=I had to make a strong effort to keep myself from laughing]

— often followed by to + verb

She’s struggling to survive.

He was struggling to breathe.

They have been struggling to pay their bills.

2 a : to move with difficulty or with great effort

She struggled up the hill through the snow.

2 b : to try to move yourself, an object, etc., by making a lot of effort

She struggled to lift the package by herself, but it was too heavy.

He struggled to get free of the wreckage.

She was struggling with the door.  [=trying to open the door]

2 c : to fight with someone in order to get something

They struggled (with each other) for/over the gun.  [=they fought with each other as they each tried to get the gun]

3 : to be failing : to be doing something without success

He’s been struggling in math class for most of the year.

The team has continued to struggle in recent weeks.

He was living as a struggling artist in the city.

— struggler /ˈstrʌglɚ/ noun, plural strugglers [count]