Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Thesaurus

difficult

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of difficult

  1. 1 requiring considerable physical or mental effort <difficult questions on the exam that required analytical thinking> Synonyms arduous, Augean, backbreaking, challenging, demanding, hard, effortful, exacting, formidable, grueling (or gruelling), heavy, hellacious, herculean, killer, laborious, moiling, murderous, pick-and-shovel, rigorous, rough, rugged, severe, stiff, strenuous, sweaty, tall, testing, toilsome, tough, uphillRelated Words abstract, abstruse, complex, complicated, elusive, hairy, insoluble, intricate, involved, knotty, opaque, problematic (also problematical), recondite, serious, spiny, stubborn, thorny, ticklish, tricky; bruising, burdensome, exhausting, labored, onerous, oppressive, stressful, taxing, tight, trying; annoying, bothersome, distressing, irksome, troublesome, vexatious; grievous, grim, strict, stringent; brutal, cruel, inhuman, painfulNear Antonyms achievable, clear, doable, elementary, manageable, uncomplicated; comforting, gentle, painless, relaxed, smooth, soothing; accessible, friendly, idiotproof, user-friendlyAntonyms cheap, easy, effortless, facile, light, mindless, simple, soft, undemanding

  2. 2 requiring exceptional skill or caution in performance or handling <it's a difficult situation when two of your friends are quarreling and you're trying to stay out of it> Synonyms catchy, delicate, tricky, dodgy [chiefly British], hairy, knotty, nasty, prickly, problematic (also problematical), sensitive, spiny, sticky, thorny, ticklish, touchy, tough, tricksyRelated Words abstract, abstruse, complex, complicated, hard, intricate, involved, recondite, serious; problem, scabrous, stubborn, troublesome, troublous, vexatious, vexing, worrisome; burdensome, demanding, discommoding, exacting, exhausting, importunate, inconvenient, onerous, oppressive, painful, stressfulNear Antonyms easy, effortless, manageable, painless, simple, straightforward, uncomplicated, undemanding, unproblematic





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up difficult? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

tending to dismiss important matters

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

perplex disapprove reduce soothe
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ