problem

noun
prob·​lem | \ ˈprä-bləm How to pronounce problem (audio) , -bᵊm, -ˌblem \

Definition of problem

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a question raised for inquiry, consideration, or solution
b : a proposition in mathematics or physics stating something to be done
2a : an intricate unsettled question
b : a source of perplexity, distress, or vexation
c : difficulty in understanding or accepting I have a problem with your saying that

problem

adjective

Definition of problem (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : dealing with a problem of conduct or social relationship a problem play
2 : difficult to deal with a problem child

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Synonyms & Antonyms for problem

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for problem

Noun

mystery, problem, enigma, riddle, puzzle mean something which baffles or perplexes. mystery applies to what cannot be fully understood by reason or less strictly to whatever resists or defies explanation. the mystery of the stone monoliths problem applies to a question or difficulty calling for a solution or causing concern. problems created by high technology enigma applies to utterance or behavior that is very difficult to interpret. his suicide remains an enigma riddle suggests an enigma or problem involving paradox or apparent contradiction. the riddle of the reclusive pop star puzzle applies to an enigma or problem that challenges ingenuity for its solution. the thief's motives were a puzzle for the police

Examples of problem in a Sentence

Noun Racism and sexism are major social problems. The company is having financial problems. He has chronic health problems. The mechanic fixed the problem with the car. There are a few problems with your argument. We have to find a way to solve this problem. She is bothered by family problems. We didn't have any problems getting here. I have my own problems to deal with. Mosquitoes are a problem in the summer.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ross set his screenplay in Boston, but quickly discovered filming here would be a problem. BostonGlobe.com, 11 June 2021 Avilés notes that the volatility of the bitcoin can be a problem. Marcos Aleman, USA TODAY, 11 June 2021 Employees and management communicate easily and openly, focus on problem-solving and support each other in finding solutions, according to employees surveyed. Michael Schroeder, The Indianapolis Star, 10 June 2021 The results also showed aducanumab slowed the rate of decline by 0.39 on an 18-point scale used to measure memory, problem-solving and other cognitive functions, report Pam Belluck and Rebecca Robbins for the New York Times. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 June 2021 In the trial’s primary measurement, the high dose appeared to slow decline by 0.39 on an 18-point scale rating memory, problem-solving skills and function. New York Times, 7 June 2021 This also meant veering away from the problem-solving ideology of the profession and the museum’s own conventions. Diana Budds, Curbed, 7 June 2021 Some of these include problem-solving, leadership and adaptability. Caroline Castrillon, Forbes, 6 June 2021 Whether on a crowded bus or fretting over an upcoming meeting, the problem-solving aspect of Wordscapes immediately takes my focus off the stressor. Landis Wiedner, Wired, 4 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In response largely to a non-problem, Democrats want to trample on the prerogatives of states to conduct elections, mandating their electoral priorities throughout the land. Rich Lowry, National Review, 9 Mar. 2021 The staff is trained to address residents who show confused or problem behavior. San Diego Elder Law Center, sandiegouniontribune.com, 24 Apr. 2018 Many people might be surprised to learn that undocumented immigrants are not typically problem children. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, 5 Mar. 2017 Problem officers make things difficult for good ones, said Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, America’s largest police-labor organization. Gary Fields, WSJ, 30 Dec. 2016 Tracy Chou, a young engineer at Pinterest, is tackling tech’s women problem head-on. Nathan Heller, Vogue, 21 Nov. 2014

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

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First Known Use of problem

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for problem

Noun

Middle English probleme, from Latin problema, from Greek problēma, literally, obstacle, from proballein to throw forward, from pro- forward + ballein to throw — more at pro-, devil

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Time Traveler for problem

Time Traveler

The first known use of problem was in the 14th century

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Statistics for problem

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Problem.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/problem. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for problem

problem

noun

English Language Learners Definition of problem

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that is difficult to deal with : something that is a source of trouble, worry, etc.
: difficulty in understanding something
: a feeling of not liking or wanting to do something

problem

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of problem (Entry 2 of 2)

: difficult to deal with

problem

noun
prob·​lem | \ ˈprä-bləm How to pronounce problem (audio) \

Kids Definition of problem

1 : something to be worked out or solved a problem in arithmetic
2 : a person or thing that is hard to understand or deal with He's not the problem. His parents are. Her behavior is a big problem.

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