What Does Strive Mean: Understanding the Meaning and Usage

by Long Le

Do you often hear the word “strive” but not fully understand its meaning? Strive is a commonly used word in the English language, but its usage can be quite perplexing. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into what does strive mean, its origins, and how it can be used in different contexts.

What is the Definition of Strive?

The word “strive” is a verb that means to make great efforts to achieve or obtain something. It involves making a conscious effort to attain a particular goal or objective. When you strive, you work hard towards a specific aim, putting in extra effort, time, and energy.

The Origins of Strive

The word “strive” has its origins in Old French, which comes from the Latin word “strenuus” meaning strong or vigorous. Its meaning has evolved over time to its current definition of making an effort to achieve something.

Synonyms of Strive

There are several synonyms for the word strive, including:

  • Endeavor
  • Attempt
  • Struggle
  • Work
  • Aim
  • Seek
  • Try
  • Aspire
  • Push
  • Drive

Examples of Strive in Use

Strive for Excellence

When you strive for excellence, you aim to achieve a level of quality that surpasses the ordinary. It’s about pushing yourself to go beyond what’s expected to reach a higher level of accomplishment. For example:

  • I always strive for excellence in my work, aiming to exceed expectations and produce outstanding results.

Strive for Success

Striving for success means making great efforts to achieve your goals and aspirations. Success can mean different things to different people, such as financial security, career advancement, personal growth, or happiness. For example:

  • I’ve been striving for success in my career, working hard to climb the ladder and reach the top of my profession.

Strive for Perfection

Striving for perfection is about making an effort to achieve the highest standard possible. It involves working towards flawless execution and attention to detail. For example:

  • As a chef, I always strive for perfection in my dishes, making sure that every ingredient is perfect, and every dish is cooked to perfection.

Strive to Achieve

Striving to achieve is about putting in extra effort and taking calculated risks to accomplish your goals. It involves being persistent and determined in the face of obstacles and setbacks. For example:

  • I’m striving to achieve my dream of starting my own business, working hard to save money, network with investors, and develop a solid business plan.

Strive vs. Thrive

Although the words “strive” and “thrive” may sound similar, they have different meanings. Strive refers to making an effort to achieve something, while thrive means to prosper or flourish. Striving involves putting in extra effort, while thriving implies that things are going well without much effort. For example:

  • I strive to achieve my fitness goals by working out regularly, while my body thrives on a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

Strive vs. Strife

Strive and strife may sound similar, but they have vastly different meanings. Strife refers to conflict or disagreement, while strive involves making an effort to achieve something. Strive is a positive action towards a goal, while strife is a negative situation that can hinder progress. For example:

  • I’m striving to improve my relationship with my partner by communicating better, while the constant strife between us makes it difficult to make progress.

Common Mistakes When Using Strive

Here are some common mistakes people make when using the word strive:

  • Using it as a noun instead of a verb, e.g., “My strive for success is strong” instead of “I strive for success.”
  • Confusing it with other words that sound similar, such as “strife” or “drive.”
  • Using it incorrectly in a sentence, e.g., “I’m striving to not fail” instead of “I’m striving to succeed.”

Tips on How to Use Strive

To use the word strive effectively, consider the following tips:

  • Identify the specific goal or objective you’re striving to achieve.
  • Be clear about the level of effort, time, and energy required to achieve your goal.
  • Use it in a sentence that accurately reflects its meaning and context.
  • Avoid using it as a noun or confusing it with other similar words.

How to Use Strive in Writing

Using the word strive in your writing can add depth and meaning to your content. Here are some ways you can use strive in your writing:

  • Use it as a theme or motif to emphasize a character’s goal or objective.
  • Use it in a title or headline to catch the reader’s attention and convey the purpose of your content.
  • Use it in a call-to-action to encourage readers to make an effort towards a particular goal or objective.


In conclusion, the word strive is a verb that means to make great efforts to achieve or obtain something. It involves working hard towards a specific aim, putting in extra effort, time, and energy. Using strive effectively can add depth and meaning to your writing and help you communicate your ideas more clearly.


  1. What’s the difference between strive and try?
  • Strive involves making a conscious effort towards a specific goal or objective, while trying is attempting to do something without necessarily succeeding.
  1. Can you strive for something negative?
  • No, strive is a positive action towards a goal or objective.
  1. Is strive a common word?
  • Yes, strive is a commonly used word in the English language.
  1. What are some common synonyms for strive?
  • Endeavor, attempt, struggle, aim, seek, try, aspire, push, drive.
  1. Can you use strive as a noun?
  • No, strive is a verb and should be used as such in a sentence.

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