problematic

adjective
prob·​lem·​at·​ic | \ ˌprä-blə-ˈma-tik \
variants: or less commonly problematical \ ˌprä-​blə-​ˈma-​ti-​kəl \

Definition of problematic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : posing a problem : difficult to solve or decide
b : not definite or settled : uncertain their future remains problematic
c : open to question or debate : questionable
2 : expressing or supporting a possibility

problematic

noun

Definition of problematic (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is problematic : a problematic aspect or concern

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Other Words from problematic

Adjective

problematically \ ˌprä-​blə-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Synonyms for problematic

Synonyms: Adjective

catchy, delicate, difficult, dodgy [chiefly British], hairy, knotty, nasty, prickly, sensitive, spiny, sticky, thorny, ticklish, touchy, tough, tricksy, tricky

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Choose the Right Synonym for problematic

Adjective

doubtful, dubious, problematic, questionable mean not affording assurance of the worth, soundness, or certainty of something. doubtful implies little more than a lack of conviction or certainty. doubtful about whether I said the right thing dubious stresses suspicion, mistrust, or hesitation. dubious about the practicality of the scheme problematic applies especially to things whose existence, meaning, fulfillment, or realization is highly uncertain. whether the project will ever be finished is problematic questionable may imply no more than the existence of doubt but usually suggests that the suspicions are well-grounded. a man of questionable honesty

Examples of problematic in a Sentence

Adjective

Rules of grammar are more problematic for non-native speakers. the problematic situation of somehow having two dates for the same party

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But the fact that these cameras often take pictures of people can be highly problematic for two main reasons. Rogelio Luque-lora, Bill Adams, Ars Technica, "Camera traps designed for animals are now invading human privacy," 24 Nov. 2018 And that's something that seems problematic for the Democratic committee members too. Fox News, "Kennedy: Kavanaugh is firm that allegation didn't happen," 18 Sep. 2018 While the tampon tax is problematic for those who cannot afford to maintain menstrual hygiene, the bigger picture is that the rights of menstruators are being compromised. Audrey Huang, Teen Vogue, "Why We Want California's Tampon Tax Out," 3 Aug. 2018 And access to contraception can be problematic for low-income single women in the 19 states, including Texas and Florida, that have still not expanded Medicaid coverage for poor single adults. New York Times, "Bulwark Against an Abortion Ban? Medical Advances," 1 July 2018 Booz Allen senior vice president Richard Crowe testified before Congress in November about what happened and explained that building new software on top of old technology at the VA had proven problematic. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The VA’s latest issues paying student veterans their benefits, explained," 11 Dec. 2018 More problematic for travelers wooed by the airline's rock-bottom, bare-bones $99 fares? Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Primera Air Will Stop Flying Passengers, File for Bankruptcy," 1 Oct. 2018 One of the biggest (and most problematic) rumors: That her story about falling was just an elaborate cover-up for work Underwood may have gotten done. Leah Prinzivalli, Glamour, "Carrie Underwood Addressed the Rumors That Her Injury Was a Cover for Plastic Surgery," 2 Aug. 2018 There are also concerns that genetic testing may be problematic, especially for women, in some cases. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, "DNA tests on children separated at border from family: few answers, lots of questions," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'problematic.' 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 problematic

Adjective

1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1898, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near problematic

probit

probity

problem

problematic

problematist

problematize

problemist

Statistics for problematic

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for problematic

The first known use of problematic was in 1609

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More Definitions for problematic

problematic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of problematic

: difficult to understand, solve, or fix

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Comments on problematic

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