Definition of difficulty in English:

difficulty

noun

mass noun
  • 1The state or condition of being difficult.

    ‘Guy had no difficulty in making friends’
    ‘I managed with difficulty to struggle upright’
    • ‘The lack of air in a birth chart can indicate difficulty in the expression of that person.’
    • ‘I regarded him as an honest and sensible witness and have no difficulty in believing what he told me.’
    • ‘He was also critical over farmers' difficulty in getting licences to move animals.’
    • ‘It's a journey fraught with difficulty, aided by a whole string of people smugglers.’
    • ‘No wonder we have such difficulty in getting really good candidates to stand.’
    • ‘When he did paint actual places he had no difficulty in ruthlessly leaving out bits he didn't want.’
    • ‘The European court had no difficulty in deciding that it was unfair for that to happen.’
    • ‘Trying to pin down a connection between art and morality is fraught with difficulty.’
    • ‘He was, however, having difficulty in getting a suitable test case to the starting gate.’
    • ‘Nor do we have any difficulty in seeing the alternatives as real alternatives.’
    • ‘He eventually manhandled the rock into his goody bag and dragged it with difficulty to the surface.’
    • ‘Because of this, there may be some difficulty in giving or receiving affection.’
    • ‘That was, by the way and a propos of nothing, one of the few words that I had difficulty in spelling as a child.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, it is a tragedy that such a splendid player has such difficulty in running.’
    • ‘They are apt to lead to much difficulty in application because they give rise to much uncertainty.’
    • ‘I have difficulty in walking, so getting to the top of town is virtually impossible.’
    • ‘Europeans often have difficulty in overcoming their initial aversion to this smell.’
    • ‘However, there can be difficulty in defining what is actual or physical retirement.’
    • ‘But the cost and difficulty in getting hold of such items made them the stuff of dreams.’
    • ‘Monet's desire to become a painter was something his father accepted with difficulty.’
    strain, struggling, awkwardness, trouble, toil, labour, laboriousness, strenuousness, arduousness
    complexity, complicatedness, intricacy, perplexity, knottiness, awkwardness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1count noun A thing that is hard to accomplish, deal with, or understand.
      ‘there is a practical difficulty’
      ‘a club with financial difficulties’
      • ‘Its previous owner had bought it from an aircraft museum that got into financial difficulties.’
      • ‘What do you do when someone comes to you with an emotional difficulty he or she wishes to deal with?’
      • ‘A difficulty in applying the definition is to decide what is a specific cognitive domain.’
      • ‘In addition, some firms encounter difficulties in understanding the new rules of the game.’
      • ‘I understand the difficulty and if we don't put it right it has huge implications for staff.’
      • ‘If there is any trouble, the team try to deal with it and report back to me any difficulties.’
      • ‘Of course, there will be short moments where there will be problems and difficulties.’
      • ‘It is like a mindset, and that is the difficulty we have when dealing with cases like this.’
      • ‘He had a very hard life and due to difficulties with his family found himself on the streets.’
      • ‘It is understood that one of her difficulties related to an arranged marriage.’
      • ‘A solution to these difficulties is needed to develop a general vision into a practical policy.’
      • ‘The main difficulty in discussing morality is agreeing the meaning of the terms we use.’
      • ‘It's the last and only resort for very many people in all sorts of crises and difficulties.’
      • ‘I have the professional experience that allows me to understand his difficulties.’
      • ‘Even the club had difficulties finding a translator at the time of his signing.’
      • ‘My Lords, there is in any event a considerable conceptual difficulty in a stay of this sort of order.’
      • ‘There has been no disguising the financial difficulties the party has been in since the election.’
      • ‘I could understand the difficulties, we had a lot of nationalities in the back four.’
      • ‘Many farmers and farm workers are experiencing real financial difficulties, he says.’
      • ‘School was very hard for me but doing sports helped me deal with the difficulties of it.’
      problem, complication, issue, disadvantage, snag, hitch, drawback, pitfall, handicap, impediment, hindrance, obstacle, hurdle, stumbling block, obstruction, barrier
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2difficulties A situation that is difficult or dangerous.
      ‘they went for a swim but got into difficulties’
      • ‘They had been out together for the day and he was swimming when he got into difficulties.’
      • ‘He played the first 14 holes in four under par until he ran into difficulties in the hole 15.’
      • ‘The money will come from a fund set up to deal with credit unions in difficulties.’
      • ‘But in London, only 1 per cent of borrowers were in difficulties, following the increase in the capital's property prices.’
      • ‘We are also aware of the problems facing the minority of payday lending customers who get into difficulties repaying their loans.’
      • ‘He then ran into difficulties after promoting his movie in Toronto earlier in the week.’
      • ‘Stephen and a colleague were pulled from the blaze by fellow firefighters after they got into difficulties inside the building last night’
      • ‘"We must also avoid putting undue pressure on companies that may be in difficulties."’
      • ‘He claims his daughter got into difficulties while driving on a motorway.’
      • ‘It is thought one of the men may have fallen in, and then the other went to try to help and also got into difficulties.’
      • ‘He had gone in to save his friend and then got into difficulties himself.’
      • ‘The recovery project ran into difficulties as the data was saved in an obscure format that modern Amiga emulators could not read.’
      • ‘A dog will get itself out of water so if you do see an animal in difficulties, by all means call the emergency services and wait for help but do not try to be a hero.’
      • ‘Their chopper got into difficulties as it came in to land just off the Shetland Islands on Friday evening.’
      • ‘In two separate incidents, two divers got into difficulties in Scapa Flow on Sunday.’
      • ‘He had got into difficulties in the Atlantis outdoor swimming pool on Sunday afternoon.’
      • ‘Two other friends got into difficulties in the rescue attempt and had to be pulled to safety.’
      • ‘Nicky got into difficulties on Sunday afternoon as he was swimming with two friends.’
      • ‘Publicly available documents reveal one of the companies she owns got into difficulties at the end of 2011.’
      • ‘Poor visibility and heavy rain did not prevent three jet skiers taking to the water off the Exmouth coast before they got into difficulties.’
      trouble, distress, crisis, hardship
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the senses ‘requiring effort or skill’ and ‘something difficult’): from Latin difficultas, from dis- (expressing reversal) + facultas ‘ability, opportunity’.

Pronunciation

difficulty

/ˈdɪfɪk(ə)lti/