The dictionary translates both as fight or struggle. Is there any subtle difference in usage or context, or is it just a matter of personal choice? Which of the two is preferred in Latin America (Mexico in particular), in case they have no lexical difference.


3 Answers 3


I think that Lucha has a broader meaning, while Pelea is a physical fight, a quarrel or discussion. For example you could use Lucha like

Lucha contra el cáncer

Lucha contra los elementos, nieve, lluvia, etc

Lucha consigo mismo, para superar sus tentaciones.

Lucha can imply a physical fight, but with a boarder sense or menaing:

Los aliados lucharon contra los nazis en la segunda guerra mundial

You could not substitute lucha with pelea there, because is not a physical fight or a quarrel.

Los dos hombres se pelearon a puñetazos.

Se peleó con su jefe por el pago de las horas extras

(this means not physically, but verbally).

You can also say

Los dos hermanos están peleados y no se hablan. Se pelearon hace mucho tiempo y todavía no han hecho las paces.

  • 2
    As the examples show, "lucha" can also mean "effort", "struggle".
    – leonbloy
    Nov 6, 2014 at 19:36

Lucha refers to a struggle while Pelea refers to literal fighting.

And even though lucha also refers the acting of wrestling, wrestling itself is a struggle in itself.


Colombia: Lucha is referred as struggle and Pelea as engaging in a fight that should not only be physical but also legal, verbal.

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