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adjective dif·fi·cult \ˈdi-fi-(ˌ)kəlt\

: not easy : requiring much work or skill to do or make

: not easy to deal with or manage

: not willing to help others by changing your behavior : stubborn or unreasonable

Full Definition of DIFFICULT

:  hard to do, make, or carry out :  arduous <a difficult climb>
a :  hard to deal with, manage, or overcome <a difficult child>
b :  hard to understand :  puzzling <difficult reading>
dif·fi·cult·ly adverb

Examples of DIFFICULT

  1. We were asked lots of difficult questions.
  2. I had to make a very difficult decision.
  3. We'll be hiking over difficult terrain.
  4. It's more difficult than it sounds.
  5. I found myself in a difficult position.
  6. Some difficult days lie ahead of us.
  7. These changes will make life difficult for everyone involved.


Middle English, back-formation from difficulty
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of DIFFICULT

hard, difficult, arduous mean demanding great exertion or effort. hard implies the opposite of all that is easy <farming is hard work>. difficult implies the presence of obstacles to be surmounted or puzzles to be resolved and suggests the need of skill or courage <the difficult ascent of the mountain>. arduous stresses the need of laborious and persevering exertion <the arduous task of rebuilding>.

Rhymes with DIFFICULT

DIFFICULT Defined for Kids


adjective dif·fi·cult \ˈdi-fi-ˌkəlt\

Definition of DIFFICULT for Kids

:  not easy :  hard to do or make <a difficult job>
:  hard to deal with <difficult circumstances> <a difficult child>
:  hard to understand <a difficult subject>

Word Root of DIFFICULT

The Latin word facere, meaning to make or to do, and its form factus give us the roots fic, fact, and fect. Words from the Latin facere have something to do with making or doing something. To manufacture is to make goods. This is often done in a factory. Something difficult is hard to do. Anything effective does what it is meant to do.


Next Word in the Dictionary: difficultnessPrevious Word in the Dictionary: difficileAll Words Near: difficult
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