- ( UK ) IPA: /ˈdɪfɪkəlt/
- ( US ) IPA: /ˈdɪfɪkʌlt/
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 .
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 .
Explanation of difficult by Wordnet Dictionary
- a difficult child,
- 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.
- Difficult, v. t. To render difficult; to impede; to perplex. [R.] Sir W. Temple.
Definition of difficult by GCIDE Dictionary