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DIFFICULTY

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does difficulty mean? 

DIFFICULTY (noun)
  The noun DIFFICULTY has 4 senses:

1. an effort that is inconvenient
2. a factor causing trouble in achieving a positive result or tending to produce a negative result
3. a condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to bear or overcome
4. the quality of being difficult

  Familiarity information: DIFFICULTY used as a noun is uncommon.


 Dictionary entry details 


DIFFICULTY (noun)


Sense 1difficulty [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

An effort that is inconvenient

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Synonyms:

difficulty; trouble

Context examples:

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

Hypernyms ("difficulty" is a kind of...):

effort; elbow grease; exertion; sweat; travail (use of physical or mental energy; hard work)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "difficulty"):

the devil (something difficult or awkward to do or deal with)

tsuris ((Yiddish) aggravating trouble)


Sense 2difficulty [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

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

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents

Context example:

serious difficulties were encountered in obtaining a pure reagent

Hypernyms ("difficulty" is a kind of...):

cognitive factor (something immaterial (as a circumstance or influence) that contributes to producing a result)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "difficulty"):

wrinkle (a minor difficulty)

balk; baulk; check; deterrent; handicap; hinderance; hindrance; impediment (something immaterial that interferes with or delays action or progress)

snorter (something outstandingly difficult)

booby trap; pitfall (an unforeseen or unexpected or surprising difficulty)

pisser (a very disagreeable difficulty)

kink (a difficulty or flaw in a plan or operation)

killer (a difficulty that is hard to deal with)

facer ((a dated Briticism) a serious difficulty with which one is suddenly faced)

problem; trouble (a source of difficulty)


Sense 3difficulty [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

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

Classified under:

Nouns denoting stable states of affairs

Context example:

grappling with financial difficulties

Hypernyms ("difficulty" is a kind of...):

condition; status (a state at a particular time)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "difficulty"):

urinary hesitancy (difficulty in beginning the flow of urine; associated with prostate enlargement in men and with narrowing of the urethral opening in women; may be caused by emotional stress in either men or women)

situation (a complex or critical or unusual difficulty)

job; problem (a state of difficulty that needs to be resolved)

mire (a difficulty or embarrassment that is hard to extricate yourself from)

strain; stress (difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension)

hard time; rough sledding (a difficulty that can be overcome with effort)

fix; hole; jam; kettle of fish; mess; muddle; pickle (informal terms for a difficult situation)

pinch (a painful or straitened circumstance)

rattrap (a difficult entangling situation)

plight; predicament; quandary (a situation from which extrication is difficult especially an unpleasant or trying one)

bitch (an unpleasant difficulty)

wall (a difficult or awkward situation)


Sense 4difficulty [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The quality of being difficult

Classified under:

Nouns denoting attributes of people and objects

Synonyms:

difficultness; difficulty

Context example:

they agreed about the difficulty of the climb

Hypernyms ("difficulty" is a kind of...):

quality (an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone)

Attribute:

difficult; hard (not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "difficulty"):

inconvenience; troublesomeness; worriment (a difficulty that causes anxiety)

niceness; subtlety (the quality of being difficult to detect or analyze)

burdensomeness; heaviness; onerousness; oppressiveness (unwelcome burdensome difficulty)

formidability; toughness (impressive difficulty)

hardness; ruggedness (the quality of being difficult to do)

asperity; grimness; hardship; rigor; rigorousness; rigour; rigourousness; severeness; severity (something hard to endure)

effortfulness (the quality of requiring deliberate effort)

Antonym:

ease (freedom from difficulty or hardship or effort)


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 DIFFICULTY: related words searches 

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