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 This more closely mirrors human intelligence by providing opportunities for autonomous learning and problem-solving. Cindy Gordon, Forbes, 30 May 2021 The problem is, Williams hasn’t been able to stay healthy for an entire season. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, 30 May 2021 The problem is that her dog is hyper and has had problems cohabitating with the two other dogs living in my house. Annie Lane, oregonlive, 30 May 2021 The problem is that her dog is hyper and has had problems cohabitating with the two other dogs living in my house. cleveland, 30 May 2021 This is striking, because there is a mythology of sports as a problem-solving activity. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 29 May 2021 The problem is that the Titans only have $3.9 million in cap space and would need to make a few other moves to make a trade happen. BostonGlobe.com, 29 May 2021 The problem often is that in many associations only certain portions of the project have views while much of the project has no view to protect. Kelly G. Richardson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 May 2021 Jenkins followed Morant on the Zoom call and was asked whether or not Utah has that reputation, plus whether or not that problem is more pronounced in Utah vs. elsewhere. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 May 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

1 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Problem.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/problem. Accessed 12 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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