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difficulty Syllabification: dif·fi·cul·ty
Pronunciation: /ˈdifəkəltē/

Definition of difficulty in English:

noun (plural difficulties)

1The state or condition of being difficult: Guy had no difficulty in making friends she walks with difficulty
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.
1.1A 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 (often difficulties) A situation that is difficult or dangerous: they went for a swim but got into difficulties
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
trouble, predicament, plight, hard times, dire straits;
informal 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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