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

case, challenge, knot, matter, nut, trouble

Antonyms: Noun

answer, solution

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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

The activists claim that they were invited into the embassy and spent hours inside with no problems. Eric Shawn | Fox News, Fox News, "North Koreans want to kill ex-Marine accused of entering Spain embassy, judge says," 3 July 2019 Before that happens, Rivian will have to create assembly lines for its vehicles and batteries, which Tesla’s problems have shown is very difficult. Nelson D. Schwartz, New York Times, "Meet the Man Quietly Building the Tesla of Trucks, With Jeff Bezos Aboard," 2 July 2019 Cries can also be used as preliminary diagnostic tools for problems like chromosomal abnormalities, or simply to identify common issues like colic. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "A Translator for Baby Cries? Yes, Please.," 2 July 2019 The protests in Birmingham are a microcosm of what could soon turn into a country-wide problem. Tara John, CNN, "Primary school lessons about LGBTQ rights spark months of protests in Britain's second city," 2 July 2019 Without undercutting the power base of the tycoons, there is no way of resolving this problem. Time, "It Is Time for Democracy in Hong Kong," 2 July 2019 Irritability, aggression, speech difficulties, trouble swallowing and vision problems may also be signs of the condition. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Former Super Bowl MVP Pleads Not Guilty Following Arrest on Domestic Violence Charges," 1 July 2019 Wilkie, who became secretary 11 months ago, said Tomah had become the epicenter of an opioid problem that gripped the entire VA system. Marisa Peryer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In wake of Tomah opioid scandal, VA system has undergone culture change, secretary says," 1 July 2019 Walmart was also deft in capitalizing on many rivals’ problems or demise (Toys ‘R’ Us to name just one), leading it to its best holiday season in years. Fortune, "Walmart," 1 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The staff is trained to address residents who show confused or problem behavior. San Diego Elder Law Center, sandiegouniontribune.com, "CHECKLIST: When it's time for memory care," 24 Apr. 2018 Many people might be surprised to learn that undocumented immigrants are not typically problem children. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "7 Reasons Why China Banned ICOs," 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, "Why Some Problem Cops Don’t Lose Their Badges," 30 Dec. 2016 Tracy Chou, a young engineer at Pinterest, is tackling tech’s women problem head-on. Nathan Heller, Vogue, "How Pinterest Engineer Tracy Chou Is Breaking the Silicon Ceiling," 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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Statistics for problem

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for problem

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

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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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Comments on problem

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