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a difficult task
a formidable task
a daunting task
an enormous task
a difficult time
a hard time
a stressful time
a tough time
a troubled time
a difficult subject
an uncomfortable subject
a tricky subject
a delicate subject
a painful subject
a sensitive subject

Synonym Chooser

How is the word difficult different from other adjectives like it?

The words arduous and hard are common synonyms of difficult. While all three words mean "demanding great exertion or effort," difficult implies the presence of obstacles to be surmounted or puzzles to be resolved and suggests the need of skill or courage.

the difficult ascent of the mountain

When would arduous be a good substitute for difficult?

While in some cases nearly identical to difficult, arduous stresses the need of laborious and persevering exertion.

the arduous task of rebuilding

When could hard be used to replace difficult?

In some situations, the words hard and difficult are roughly equivalent. However, hard implies the opposite of all that is easy.

farming is hard work

Thesaurus Entries Near difficult

Cite this Entry

“Difficult.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/difficult. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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