Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of difficult
Meaning of difficult by Wiktionary Dictionary

difficult


    Etymology

    From difficulty, from Middle English difficultee, from Old French difficulté, from Latin difficultas, from difficul, older form of difficilis ( “hard to do, difficult” ), from dis- + facilis ( “easy” ); see difficile .

    Pronunciation

    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈdɪfɪkəlt/
    • ( US ) IPA: /ˈdɪfɪkʌlt/

    Adjective

    difficult ( comparative more difficult, superlative most difficult )

    1. hard, not easy, requiring much effort
    2. hard to manage, uncooperative, troublesome; eg. said of a person, a horse, etc.

    Usage notes

    Difficult implies the notion that considerable mental effort or physical skill is required, or that obstacles are to be overcome which call for sagacity and skill in the doer; as, a difficult task. Thus, "hard" is not always synonymous with difficult: Other examples include a difficult operation in surgery; a difficult passage by an author .

    Synonyms

    • burdensome, cumbersome, hard
    • See also Wikisaurus:difficult

    Verb

    difficult ( third-person singular simple present difficults present participle difficulting, simple past and past participle difficulted )

    1. ( transitive ) To make difficult; to impede; to perplex .
      ( Can we find and add a quotation of Sir W. Temple to this entry? )

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    External links

    • difficult in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • difficult in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911


Explanation of difficult by Wordnet Dictionary

difficult


    Adjective
    1. not easy

    2. a difficult task
      nesting places on the cliffs are difficult of access
      difficult times
    3. hard to control

    4. a difficult child,


    Definition of difficult by GCIDE Dictionary

    difficult


    1. Difficult a. [From Difficulty.]
      1. Hard to do or to make; beset with difficulty; attended with labor, trouble, or pains; not easy; arduous.

      ☞ Difficult implies the notion that considerable mental effort or skill is required, or that obstacles are to be overcome which call for sagacity and skill in the agent; as, a difficult task; hard work is not always difficult work; a difficult operation in surgery; a difficult passage in an author.

      There is not the strength or courage left me to venture into the wide, strange, and difficult world, alone. Hawthorne.

      2. Hard to manage or to please; not easily wrought upon; austere; stubborn; as, “a difficult person”.

      Syn. -- Arduous; painful; crabbed; perplexed; laborious; unaccommodating; troublesome. See Arduous.

    2. Difficult, v. t. To render difficult; to impede; to perplex. [R.] Sir W. Temple.