difficult


difficult
dif|fi|cult
W1S1 [ˈdıfıkəlt] adj
[Date: 1300-1400; Origin: difficulty]
1.) hard to do, understand, or deal with
≠ ↑easy
a difficult question
an immensely difficult task
Was the exam very difficult?
It's difficult to see how more savings can be made.
difficult (for sb) to understand/find/obtain etc
That's rather difficult for me to explain.
He's finding it difficult to get a job.
2.) involving a lot of problems and causing a lot of trouble or worry
a difficult situation
Things are a bit difficult at home at the moment.
There could be difficult times ahead.
make life/things difficult for sb
(=cause problems for someone)
She's doing everything she can to make life difficult for him.
3.) someone who is difficult never seems pleased or satisfied
= ↑awkward
Don't be so difficult!
a difficult customer
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WORD FOCUS: difficult
difficult to do: hard, tough, challenging, daunting
difficult and needing a lot of physical effort: tough, strenuous, back-breaking, gruelling, arduous, punishing
difficult to deal with or talk about: tricky, awkward, delicate, sensitive, touchy
words for describing a difficult person: awkward, trying
words for describing difficult conditions: adverse, hostile
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Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Difficult — Dif fi*cult, a. [From {Difficulty}.] 1. Hard to do or to make; beset with difficulty; attended with labor, trouble, or pains; not easy; arduous. [1913 Webster] Note: Difficult implies the notion that considerable mental effort or skill is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • difficult — I adjective arduous, attended by obstacles, awkward, beset with difficulty, beyond one s reach, bothersome, burdensome, complex, complicated, convoluted, difficile, difficilis, encompassed with difficulties, enigmatic, entangled by difficulties,… …   Law dictionary

  • difficult — [adj1] hard on someone; hard to do ambitious, arduous, backbreaker*, bothersome, burdensome, challenging, crucial, demanding, difficile, easier said than done*, effortful, exacting, formidable, galling, Gargantuan*, hardwon, heavy, Herculean*,… …   New thesaurus

  • Difficult — Dif fi*cult, v. t. To render difficult; to impede; to perplex. [R.] Sir W. Temple. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • difficult — c.1400, apparently a back formation from DIFFICULTY (Cf. difficulty). French has difficile, Latin difficilis. Of persons, hard to please, from 1580s …   Etymology dictionary

  • difficult — *hard, arduous Analogous words: perplexing, puzzling, mystifying (see PUZZLE): intricate, involved, complicated, *complex, knotty: *obscure, enigmatic, cryptic: exacting, *onerous, burdensome Antonyms: simple Contrasted words: *easy, facile,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • difficult — ► ADJECTIVE 1) needing much effort or skill to accomplish, deal with, or understand. 2) not easy to please or satisfy; awkward …   English terms dictionary

  • difficult — [dif′i kult΄, dif′ikəlt] adj. [ME, back form. < DIFFICULTY] 1. hard to do, make, manage, understand, etc.; involving trouble or requiring extra effort, skill, or thought 2. hard to satisfy, persuade, please, etc. SYN. HARD difficultly adv …   English World dictionary

  • difficult — dif|fi|cult [ dıfıkəlt ] adjective *** 1. ) not easy to do, deal with, or understand: HARD: Choosing the winner was a difficult task. The exam questions were too difficult. difficult to do something: It s difficult to say what time I will get… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • difficult */*/*/ — UK [ˈdɪfɪk(ə)lt] / US [ˈdɪfɪkəlt] adjective 1) not easy to do, deal with, or understand Choosing the winner was a difficult task. The exam questions were too difficult. it is difficult to do something: It s difficult to say what time I will get… …   English dictionary