Difference Between Conflict and Problem

Main Difference – Conflict vs Problem

Conflict and problems are two words that typically describe negative situations or matters. A conflict is a disagreement or clash, which can be between two or more people or concepts. A problem is a matter or situation that is considered as harmful or unpleasant. A conflict can be described as a problem. The key difference between conflict and problem is that a conflict always has two or more parties whereas problems have no such parties.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is a Conflict 
     – Definition, Usage, Examples
2. What is a Problem
    – Definition, Usage, Examples
3. What is the Difference Between Conflict and Problem
    – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Argument, Conflict, Intra-group Conflict, Problem

Difference Between Conflict and Problem - Comparison Summary

What is a Conflict

A conflict is a serious disagreement or argument.  In a conflict, there is some form of friction or discord between two people or a group. This happens when the beliefs or actions of one or more members of the group are unacceptable to or resisted by one or more members of another group. A conflict usually lasts for a longer time period. A conflict that happens between members of the same group is known as an intra-group conflict. Conflicts can also happen between members of two groups. Conflicts can also involve violence. Quarrels/arguments between individual, labor strikes, or armed conflicts are some examples of conflicts.  

Main Difference - Conflict vs Problem

Conflict can also refer to a clash or incompatibility between two concepts or arguments; for example, the conflict between science and religion. The following sentences will help you to understand the meaning and usage of the term conflict.

  • The conflict between doctors and minor medical staff resulted in a three-day
  • There was a conflict between his personal life and professional life.
  • The conflict between the education minister and the health minister was finally resolved by the president.
  • Johnathan’s will was a source of conflict between his children.

What is a Problem

Problem is one of the most commonly used terms in the language. It has several related meanings in different contexts. Some of these meanings include

  • a question raised for inquiry, consideration, or solution
  • a source of perplexity, distress, or vexation (Merriam-Webster)
  • a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome (Oxford Dictionary)

Difference Between Conflict and Problem -

The following sentences will help you to understand the meaning and usage of the term problem.

  • He was facing some financial problems.
  • The principal held a meeting to discuss the problems related to students’ low performance.
  • She was worried about some family problems.
  • He saw racism and sexism as two major social problems.
  • Insufficient funds and the use of poor quality products are the major sources of the problem.

Difference Between Conflict and Problem


Conflict: Conflict is a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one.

Problem: Problem is a matter or situation considered as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.


Conflict: There are two or more parties in a problem.

Problem: There are no parties.


Conflict: The term conflict implies incompatibility, disagreement or clash.

Problem: The problem implies difficulty, doubt, or uncertainty.

Time Period

Conflict: Conflict typically lasts for a long time.

Problem: Some problems can be resolved very quickly.


There is a distinct difference between conflict and problem. A conflict is a disagreement or clash, which can be between two or more people or concepts. A problem is a matter or situation that is considered as harmful or unpleasant.

Image Courtesy:

1. “A problem” By Zahy1412 – Own work via
2. “Conflict Silhouette” (Public Domain) via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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