difficulty

difficulty [dif′i kul΄tē, dif′ikəl΄tē]
n.
pl. difficulties [ME & OFr difficulte < L difficultas < difficilis, difficult < dis-, not + facilis, easy: see FACILE]
1. the condition or fact of being difficult
2. something that is difficult, as a hard problem or an obstacle or objection
3. trouble, distress, etc., or a cause of this
4. a disagreement or quarrel
——————
in difficulties
in distress, esp. financially
SYN.- DIFFICULTY is applied to anything hard to contend with, without restriction as to nature, intensity, etc. [a slight difficulty, great difficulty]; HARDSHIP, stronger in connotation, suggests suffering, privation, or trouble that is extremely hard to bear [the hardships of poverty ]; RIGOR suggests severe hardship but further connotes that it is imposed by external, impersonal circumstances beyond one's control [the rigors of winter ]; VICISSITUDE, a bookish word, suggests a difficulty that is likely to occur in the course of something, often one inherent in a situation [the vicissitudes of political life ]

English World dictionary. . 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • difficulty — difficulty, hardship, rigor, vicissitude are synonyms only when they mean something which demands effort and endurance if it is to be overcome or one s end achieved. Difficulty, the most widely applicable of these terms, applies to any condition …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Difficulty — Dif fi*cul*ty, n.; pl. {Difficulties}. [L. difficultas, fr. difficilis difficult; dif = dis + facilis easy: cf. F. difficult[ e]. See {Facile}.] 1. The state of being difficult, or hard to do; hardness; arduousness; opposed to {easiness} or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • difficulty — [n1] problem; situation requiring great effort adversity, arduousness, awkwardness, barricade, check, complication, crisis, crux, dead end, deadlock, deep water*, dilemma, distress, emergency, exigency, fix*, frustration, hardship, hazard,… …   New thesaurus

  • difficulty — late 14c., from O.Fr. difficulté, from L. difficultatem (nom. difficultas) difficulty, distress, poverty, from difficilis hard, from dis not, away from (see DIS (Cf. dis )) + facilis easy (see FACILE (Cf. facile)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • difficulty — index adversity, aggravation (annoyance), bar (obstruction), burden, complex (entanglement) …   Law dictionary

  • difficulty — ► NOUN (pl. difficulties) 1) the state or condition of being difficult. 2) a difficult or dangerous situation or circumstance. ORIGIN Latin difficultas, from facultas ability, opportunity …   English terms dictionary

  • difficulty — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ considerable, enormous, extreme, grave, great, major, real, serious, severe ▪ We had enormous difficulty …   Collocations dictionary

  • difficulty */*/*/ — UK [ˈdɪfɪk(ə)ltɪ] / US [ˈdɪfɪkəltɪ] noun Word forms difficulty : singular difficulty plural difficulties Metaphor: A difficult idea or situation is like a knot or something that is tied up, tangled, or twisted. When you deal with it successfully …   English dictionary

  • difficulty — n. 1) to cause, create, make, present difficulties for 2) to come across, encounter, experience, face, meet, run into difficulties 3) to clear up, overcome, resolve, surmount a difficulty 4) (a) grave, great, insurmountable, serious, severe… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • difficulty — dif|fi|cul|ty W1S1 [ˈdıfıkəlti] n plural difficulties [Date: 1300 1400; : Latin; Origin: difficultas, from difficilis difficult , from facilis easy ] 1.) [U] if you have difficulty doing something, it is difficult for you to do have/experience… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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