Synonyms & Antonyms of difficult

2 requiring exceptional skill or caution in performance or handling
  • it's a difficult situation when two of your friends are quarreling and you're trying to stay out of it

Synonyms for difficult

Words Related to difficult

Near Antonyms for difficult

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Frequently Asked Questions About difficult

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

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Time Traveler for difficult

Time Traveler

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

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Thesaurus Entries Near difficult

differs (over)



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Cite this Entry

“Difficult.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on difficult

Nglish: Translation of difficult for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of difficult for Arabic Speakers

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