Definitions for difficultyˈdɪf ɪˌkʌl ti, -kəl ti

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word difficulty

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

dif•fi•cul•tyˈdɪf ɪˌkʌl ti, -kəl ti(n.)(pl.)-ties.

  1. the fact or condition of being difficult.

  2. Often, difficul•ties. an embarrassing situation, esp. of financial affairs.

  3. a trouble or struggle.

  4. a cause of trouble, struggle, or embarrassment.

  5. a disagreement or dispute.

  6. reluctance; unwillingness.

  7. a demur; objection.

  8. something that is hard to do, understand, or surmount; impediment; obstacle.

Origin of difficulty:

1350–1400; ME difficulte (< AF) < L difficultās=difficil(is) difficult +-tās -ty2

Princeton's WordNet

  1. trouble, difficulty(noun)

    an effort that is inconvenient

    "I went to a lot of trouble"; "he won without any trouble"; "had difficulty walking"; "finished the test only with great difficulty"

  2. difficulty(noun)

    a factor causing trouble in achieving a positive result or tending to produce a negative result

    "serious difficulties were encountered in obtaining a pure reagent"

  3. difficulty(noun)

    a condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to bear or overcome

    "grappling with financial difficulties"

  4. difficulty, difficultness(noun)

    the quality of being difficult

    "they agreed about the difficulty of the climb"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. difficulty(noun)ˈdɪf ɪˌkʌl ti, -kəl ti

    sth that is not easy or causes problems

    learning/reading difficulties; They're having difficulties with their teenage son.; I'm having difficulty remembering everyone's names.

  2. difficultyˈdɪf ɪˌkʌl ti, -kəl ti

    how difficult sth is compared to others

    the relative difficulty of the two tasks


  1. difficulty(Noun)

    The state of being difficult, or hard to do.

  2. difficulty(Noun)

    An obstacle that hinders achievement of a goal.

    We faced a difficulty.

  3. Origin: From difficultee, from difficulté, from difficultas, from difficul, older form of difficilis, from dis- + facilis; see difficile and difficult.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Difficulty(noun)

    the state of being difficult, or hard to do; hardness; arduousness; -- opposed to easiness or facility; as, the difficulty of a task or enterprise; a work of difficulty

  2. Difficulty(noun)

    something difficult; a thing hard to do or to understand; that which occasions labor or perplexity, and requires skill and perseverance to overcome, solve, or achieve; a hard enterprise; an obstacle; an impediment; as, the difficulties of a science; difficulties in theology

  3. Difficulty(noun)

    a controversy; a falling out; a disagreement; an objection; a cavil

  4. Difficulty(noun)

    embarrassment of affairs, especially financial affairs; -- usually in the plural; as, to be in difficulties

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'difficulty' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1652

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'difficulty' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1772

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'difficulty' in Nouns Frequency: #323

Translations for difficulty

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


the state or quality of being hard (to do) or not easy

I have difficulty in understanding him.

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