Thesaurus

problem

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of problem

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 something that requires thought and skill for resolution
  • the problem of world hunger

Synonyms for problem

Words Related to problem

Near Antonyms for problem

Antonyms for problem

2 an interrogative expression often used to test knowledge
  • there were only 10 problems on the exam, but they were all challenging

Synonyms for problem

Words Related to problem

Near Antonyms for problem

problem

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of problem (Entry 2 of 2)

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About problem

How does the noun problem differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of problem are enigma, mystery, puzzle, and riddle. While all these words mean "something which baffles or perplexes," problem applies to a question or difficulty calling for a solution or causing concern.

problems created by high technology

In what contexts can enigma take the place of problem?

While the synonyms enigma and problem are close in meaning, enigma applies to utterance or behavior that is very difficult to interpret.

his suicide remains an enigma

When could mystery be used to replace problem?

Although the words mystery and problem have much in common, 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

Where would puzzle be a reasonable alternative to problem?

The words puzzle and problem are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, puzzle applies to an enigma or problem that challenges ingenuity for its solution.

the thief's motives were a puzzle for the police

When might riddle be a better fit than problem?

In some situations, the words riddle and problem are roughly equivalent. However, riddle suggests an enigma or problem involving paradox or apparent contradiction.

the riddle of the reclusive pop star

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about problem

Time Traveler for problem

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Problem.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/problem. Accessed 5 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on problem

Dictionary: Definition of problem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with problem

Spanish Central: Translation of problem

Nglish: Translation of problem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of problem for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about problem

Comments on problem

What made you want to look up problem? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!