What does difficult mean?

Definitions for difficult
ˈdɪf ɪˌkʌlt, -kəltdif·fi·cult

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word difficult.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. difficult, hardadjective

    not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure

    "a difficult task"; "nesting places on the cliffs are difficult of access"; "difficult times"; "why is it so hard for you to keep a secret?"

  2. unmanageable, difficultadjective

    hard to control

    "a difficult child", "an unmanageable situation"


  1. difficultadjective

    hard, not easy, requiring much effort

  2. difficultadjective

    hard to manage, uncooperative, troublesome; eg. said of a person, a horse, etc.

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

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. DIFFICULTadjective

    Etymology: difficilis, Latin.

    It is difficult in the eyes of this people. Zachar.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Difficultadjective

    hard to do or to make; beset with difficulty; attended with labor, trouble, or pains; not easy; arduous

  2. Difficultadjective

    hard to manage or to please; not easily wrought upon; austere; stubborn; as, a difficult person

  3. Difficultverb

    to render difficult; to impede; to perplex

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Difficult

    dif′i-kult, adj. not easy: hard to be done: requiring labour and pains: hard to please: not easily persuaded.—adv. Diff′icultly.—n. Diff′iculty, laboriousness: obstacle: objection: that which cannot be easily understood or believed: embarrassment of affairs: a quarrel. [The adj. was formed from difficulty, in place of the old form difficile. Fr. difficulté—L. difficultas = difficilitasdifficilisdif (= dis), neg., and facilis, easy.]

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'difficult' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #425

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'difficult' in Written Corpus Frequency: #457

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'difficult' in Adjectives Frequency: #44

How to pronounce difficult?

How to say difficult in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of difficult in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of difficult in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of difficult in a Sentence

  1. Stephanie Anastasiou:

    A business in Greece will not stop operating when there are customers to serve, such businesses have proven to be fully operable even in more difficult times during these past crisis years.

  2. Joe Leask:

    My job is sometimes the easiest job in the world and sometimes my job is the most difficult job in the world.

  3. European Council President Donald Tusk:

    Still, it's not so easy to agree with our Chinese partners when it comes to these issues but our talks were difficult, tough but also promising.

  4. The Russian foreign ministry:

    Russia-U.S. relations are undergoing difficult times caused by Washington’s purposeful unfriendly actions, groundlessly making Russia responsible for the Ukraine crisis which was largely triggered by the United States itself, in 2014...Barack Obama's administration chose a path to cut back bilateral ties, proclaimed policy toward 'isolating' our country at the international scene and demanded support to its confrontational steps from countries who traditionally follow Washington's track.

  5. Andrew Lamason:

    Refloating stranded whales is a difficult and potentially dangerous job.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for difficult

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for difficult »


Find a translation for the difficult definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these difficult definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "difficult." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 5 Feb. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/difficult>.

    Are we missing a good definition for difficult? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    a deliberately offensive act or something producing the effect of deliberate disrespect
    • A. famish
    • B. abhor
    • C. affront
    • D. abase

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for difficult: