Definition of problem in English:

problem

Line breaks: prob|lem
Pronunciation: /ˈprɒbləm
 
/

noun

1A matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome: they have financial problems the problem of ageism in Hollywood
More example sentences
  • This is a good time to deal with earthy details, practical matters and health problems.
  • However, you do clearly have a problem dealing with stressful situations.
  • Workers have already been forced to look for other jobs due to financial and family problems.
Synonyms
difficulty, issue, trouble, worry, complication, difficult situation, mess, muddle, mix-up;
catch-22, vexed question, quandary, the rub;
misfortune, mishap, misadventure
informal dilemma, headache, prob, hassle, pickle, fix, tight spot, fly in the ointment, how-do-you-do, job, gremlin, facer
North American informal katzenjammer
rare nodus
nuisance, source of difficulty, bother, pest, source of trouble, irritant, thorn in one's side/flesh, vexation
vulgar slang pain in the arse
1.1A thing that is difficult to achieve: motivation of staff can also be a problem
More example sentences
  • Manpower shortages and recruitment problems are creating serious difficulties in many areas of medicine.
  • Searching for people is one of the most difficult problems for search engines.
  • Climbing over the railings and down the steps was not a difficult problem.
2 Physics & Mathematics An inquiry starting from given conditions to investigate or demonstrate a fact, result, or law.
More example sentences
  • Under his influence Dirac worked on some problems in statistical mechanics.
  • The conditions of many problems are stated carelessly and drawings are completely lacking.
  • In fact the specific problem which he set out to solve was to find two mean proportionals between two straight lines.
2.1 Geometry A proposition in which something has to be constructed. Compare with theorem.
More example sentences
  • Book One discusses his laws of motion then proceeds to a series of propositions, theorems and problems.
  • This work attempted to solve the problem of constructing a line of the same length as an arc of a circle.
  • Problems in geometry whose solutions he had shown privately to colleagues were detailed in the book
2.2(In chess) an arrangement of pieces in which the solver has to achieve a specified result.
More example sentences
  • He then gave five problems involving the chess board as set up at the start of a game.
  • Henry learnt to play chess at a young age and soon became interested in chess problems.
  • The problem is White to play and mate in two moves against any Black defence.

Origin

late Middle English (originally denoting a riddle or a question for academic discussion): from Old French probleme, via Latin from Greek problēma, from proballein 'put forth', from pro 'before' + ballein 'to throw'.

Phrases

have a problem with

Disagree with or have an objection to: I have no problem with shopping on Sundays
More example sentences
  • I think he's having a problem with all the loud music.
  • But surely if his counterparts have a problem with what he did, it will reflect badly on them, and not on him.
  • Many writers have a problem with even hinting at the general tone of a piece ahead of time.

no problem

Used to express one’s agreement or acquiescence: ‘Can you come over here right away?’ ‘No problem.’
More example sentences
  • He stood in this chamber this morning and said he had no problem with what we were proposing.
  • I can clear them over the weekend, no problem, and start a new week all clean, clear and busting to go.
  • So last night I got to bed really early and managed to get to sleep no problem.

that's your (or his, her, etc.) problem

Used to express one’s lack of interest in or sympathy with another person’s problems: he’d made a mistake but that was his problem
More example sentences
  • How you cope with ordinary bookstores thereafter, well, that's your problem.
  • If you're getting fat from fast food, some politicians say that's your problem.
  • If you live overseas and can't figure out the time difference, that's your problem.

Definition of problem in: