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difficulty Line breaks: dif|fi¦culty
Pronunciation: /ˈdɪfɪk(ə)lti/

Definition of difficulty in English:

noun (plural difficulties)

[mass noun]
1The state or condition of being difficult: Guy had no difficulty in making friends I managed with difficulty to struggle upright
More example sentences
  • The lack of air in a birth chart can indicate difficulty in the expression of that person.
  • Monet's desire to become a painter was something his father accepted with difficulty.
  • No wonder we have such difficulty in getting really good candidates to stand.
strain, struggling, awkwardness, trouble, toil, labour, laboriousness, strenuousness, arduousness;
pains, problems, trials and tribulations
informal hassle, stress
literary dolour, travails
complexity, complicatedness, intricacy, perplexity, knottiness, awkwardness;
obscurity, abstruseness
1.1 [count noun] A thing that is hard to accomplish, deal with, or understand: there is a practical difficulty a club with financial difficulties
More example sentences
  • In addition, some firms encounter difficulties in understanding the new rules of the game.
  • I have the professional experience that allows me to understand his difficulties.
  • School was very hard for me but doing sports helped me deal with the difficulties of it.
1.2 (difficulties) A situation that is difficult or dangerous: they went for a swim but got into difficulties
More example sentences
  • He got into difficulties almost immediately and disappeared beneath the water.
  • 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.
trouble, distress, crisis, hardship;
adversity, extremity, need;
hard times, dire straits;
predicament, quandary, dilemma, plight
informal hot water, deep water, a fix, a jam, a spot, a scrape, a stew, a hole, a pickle


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

Words that rhyme with difficulty

absurdity • gadgety

Definition of difficulty in:

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