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difficult

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

Simple Definition of difficult

  • : 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

  1. 1 :  hard to do, make, or carry out :  arduous <a difficult climb>

  2. 2 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.



Origin of difficult

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



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