One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Requiring great effort or skill to do or accomplish; not easy to manage or deal with.
2Of a person: hard to persuade, please, or satisfy; unaccommodating, unreasonable; awkward.
Late 15th century; earliest use found in William Caxton (1415x24–1492), printer, merchant, and diplomat. Originally from Anglo-Norman and Middle French difficile and its etymon classical Latin difficilis hard to deal with, troublesome, difficult, intractable, inflexible, in post-classical Latin also hard to understand from dif- + facilis.
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