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.

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. Bob Menendez:

    President Joe Biden got dealt a very difficult hand. There are no good solutions to the challenge of Afghanistan. But there are serious questions, after 20 years of blood and national treasure, the question is still in my mind, how do we ultimately ensure the Taliban can not run over the Afghan government and potentially create it as a place for terrorist attacks to take place ? How do we preserve the rights of Afghan women in civil society that have been achieved ?

  2. Wu Weiren:

    We probably will choose a site on which it is more difficult to land and more technically challenging... Our next move will probably see some spacecraft land on the far side of the moon.

  3. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Peace and Violence, sct. 2, in Index, no. 4 (London, 1973.:

    It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes. It may even lie on the surface; but we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions— especially selfish ones.

  4. Barack Obama:

    What we have shown is that we can maintain the kind of pressure on these terrorist networks even in these kind of difficult environments.

  5. Martin Lee:

    I hope the Canadian government and the Canadian Parliament will speak up for us at this difficult stage, if Hong Kong were to go down the slippery slope as now, Hong Kong will become just another Chinese city.

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Translations for difficult

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    not established or confirmed
    • A. unsealed
    • B. proprietary
    • C. appellative
    • D. aculeate

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