difficulty

play
noun dif·fi·cul·ty \-(ˌ)kəl-tē\

Definition of difficulty

plural

difficulties

  1. 1 :  the quality or state of being hard to do, deal with, or understand :  the quality or state of being difficult underestimated the difficulty of the task has difficulty reading climbs stairs with difficulty

  2. 2 :  controversy, disagreement unable to resolve their difficulties

  3. 3 :  objection made no difficulty in granting the request

  4. 4 :  something difficult :  impediment encountering difficulties along the way

  5. 5 :  embarrassment, trouble —usually used in plural financial difficulties

Examples of difficulty in a Sentence

  1. She underestimated the difficulty of saving so much money.

  2. the many difficulties that he encountered on the road from poor orphan to head of a major corporation

Recent Examples of difficulty from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'difficulty'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of difficulty

Middle English difficulte, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French difficulté, from Latin difficultas, from difficilis not easy, from dis- + facilis easy — more at facile



DIFFICULTY Defined for English Language Learners

difficulty

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noun

Definition of difficulty for English Language Learners

  • : the quality of something that makes it hard to do : the difficult nature of something

  • : something that is not easy to do or to deal with : a difficult situation

  • : a disagreement in opinion


DIFFICULTY Defined for Kids

difficulty

play
noun dif·fi·cul·ty \ˈdi-fi-ˌkəl-tē\

Definition of difficulty for Students

plural

difficulties

  1. 1 :  the state of being hard to do the difficulty of a task

  2. 2 :  great effort He solved the puzzle with difficulty.

  3. 3 :  something that makes something hard to do :  obstacle She overcame great difficulties to achieve success.

  4. 4 :  a troublesome situation She saw a way out of the difficulty.



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