AskDefine | Define difficulty

Dictionary Definition



1 an effort that is inconvenient; "I went to a lot of trouble"; "he won without any trouble"; "had difficulty walking"; "finished the test only with great difficulty" [syn: trouble]
2 a factor causing trouble in achieving a positive result or tending to produce a negative result; "serious difficulties were encountered in obtaining a pure reagent"
3 a condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to bear or overcome; "grappling with financial difficulties"
4 the quality of being difficult; "they agreed about the difficulty of the climb" [syn: difficultness] [ant: ease]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /difikəl̩tiː/


  1. The state of being difficult, or hard to do.
  2. An obstacle that hinders achievement of a goal.

Related terms


state of being difficult

Extensive Definition

Difficulty may refer to:
difficulty in French: Difficulté

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Gordian knot, abstruseness, adverse circumstances, adversity, affliction, aggravation, agreement to disagree, altercation, annoyance, arduousness, asperity, bad news, bedevilment, beef, bickering, blight, block, blockade, bore, bother, botheration, bothersomeness, bottleneck, bummer, burden, burthen, care, cargo, catch, challenge, charge, complexity, complication, controversy, cordon, crabbedness, crampedness, crashing bore, cross, cross-purposes, cumbrance, curse, curtain, deadweight, deepness, demurral, demurrer, determent, deterrent, devilment, difference, difference of opinion, difficulties, dilemma, disadvantage, disagreement, disparity, dispute, distress, dividedness, division, dogging, downer, drag, drawback, embarrassment, emergency, encumbrance, esoterica, exasperation, exigency, falling-out, fight, fix, formidableness, freight, hamper, handicap, hang-up, harassment, hard knocks, hard life, hard lot, hardcase, hardness, hardship, harrying, hassle, hazard, headache, heavy sledding, hindrance, hitch, hot water, hounding, hurdle, impediment, impedimenta, imposition, inconvenience, intricacy, irritation, jam, joker, knottiness, laboriousness, load, lumber, mess, misunderstanding, molestation, nuisance, objection, obstacle, obstruction, obstructive, odds, one small difficulty, onus, pack, painfulness, pass, penalty, persecution, pest, pickle, pinch, pitfall, plight, polarization, predicament, pressure, problem, profoundness, profundity, protest, quandary, question, reconditeness, remonstrance, remonstration, rigor, rub, scrape, sea of troubles, snag, squabble, strain, strait, straits, stress, stress of life, stumbling block, stumbling stone, trial, tribulation, trouble, troubles, vale of tears, variance, vexation, vexatiousness, vicissitude, vigor, weight, white elephant, worriment, worry
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