- 1Needing much effort or skill to accomplish, deal with, or understand: she had a difficult decision to make the questions are too difficult for the childrenMore example sentences
hard, strenuous, arduous, laborious, heavy, tough, onerous, burdensome, demanding, punishing, gruelling, grinding, back-breaking, painful; exhausting, tiring, fatiguing, wearing, wearying, wearisome• informal hellish, killingBritish • informal knackering• archaic toilsome• rare exigentproblematic, hard, puzzling, baffling, perplexing, confusing, mystifying, mysterious; complicated, complex, involved, intricate, knotty, thorny, ticklish; obscure, abstract, abstruse, recondite, enigmatic, impenetrable, unfathomable, over one's head, above one's head, beyond one• informal fiddly, sticky, no picnicNorth American • informal gnarly• archaic wildering
- We all acknowledged the fact that this decision is very difficult for you to understand.
- It is as difficult for us to understand adolescents as it is for them to understand us.
- It is very difficult for me to disagree with the statement that they deplore it.
- 1.1Characterized by or causing hardships or problems: a difficult economic climateMore example sentences
inconvenient, awkward, unfavourable, unfortunate, inappropriate, unsuitable, untimely, ill-timed, inopportune, inexpedient, disadvantageous• archaic unseasonablebad, tough, grim, terrible, awful, dreadful, nightmarish, dark, black, hard, adverse, unpleasant, unwelcome, disagreeable, distressing, harrowing; straitened, hard-pressed• literary direful• archaic or • humorous parlous
- The State of Oregon is looking hard to save where it can in this difficult business climate.
- I was also a union steward at that time involved in long and difficult negotiations.
- The whole situation is made more difficult by the complexity of the cost equations.
- 1.2(Of a person) not easy to please or satisfy; awkward: Lily could be difficultMore example sentences
troublesome, tiresome, trying, exasperating, demanding, unmanageable, intractable, perverse, contrary, recalcitrant, obstreperous, refractory, fractious; unaccommodating, unhelpful, uncooperative, unamenable, unreasonable, disobliging, stubborn, obstinate, bull-headed, pig-headed; hard to please, hard to satisfy, fussy, particular, over-particular, fastidious, perfectionist, critical, hypercritical, finicky; British awkward; Scottish thrawn• informal cussedchoosy, pickyNorth American • informal balky• rare contrarious, finical
- It's quite a hard thing to say, but my Nan is a very difficult person for me to be around.
- My character in the film had a very difficult father and there was one scene in which she had to stand up to him.
- He has succeeded in showing us that he is a difficult man, but that needed no great mastery.
( • rare )
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- The full complement of four cellos, double bass, percussion, three sopranos and the piano duo even hinted at one of those discarded early versions of Stravinsky's difficultly achieved masterpiece.
- He added that the Government neglects the municipalities and works with them extremely slowly and difficultly.
- It goes on, more difficultly still, in the attenuated sublimity of a democratic faith, that the after is not the end.
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- Among girls, maternal hostile child-rearing attitudes, role dissatisfaction, and perceived temperamental difficultness of the child were all significant predictors of self-esteem in adolescence.
- High activity and low sociability are less accepted in girls than in boys, and this may explain why temperamental difficultness predicted low self-esteem among girls only.
- They pride themselves on their difficultness.
late Middle English: back-formation from difficulty.